Be breast aware this October

30th September 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and WRDA is encouraging all women to be more aware of what is normal for their breasts so that any changes can be discovered early. Whatever your age, size or shape it’s important to take care of your breasts. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with 1 in 12 women in Northern Ireland developing it before the age of 75. It is important to look after your breasts by being breast aware. Being breast aware is part of caring for your body. It means getting to know how your breasts look and feel so you know what is normal for you.

The most common signs of breast cancer are:
• A lump or thickening in an area of the breast.
• A change in the size or shape of a breast.
• Dimpling of the skin.
• A change in the shape of your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast, or has an irregular shape.
• A blood stained discharge from the nipple.
• A rash on a nipple or surrounding area.
• A swelling or lump in your armpit.

If you notice any of these changes it is important that you make an appointment with your GP. We would also encourage women aged between 50 and 70 to attend breast screening when they are invited.

New breast aware text alert service

To tie in with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are launching a new ‘Breast Aware’ text alert for our members. The alert is part of our Breast, Cervical and Bowel Cancer Screening Awareness Programme and will send out monthly text message reminders to women to encourage them to perform a breast self-exam. This text messaging approach hopes to encourage women to perform these monthly self-exams, with the aim of it becoming a routine habit. WRDA supports women’s empowerment in taking control of their breast health through training and information.

Breast screening awareness training available 

WRDA delivers Breast Screening Awareness sessions as part of our ground breaking Breast, Cervical and Bowel Screening Awareness Programme. The training was developed in partnership with the Public Health Agency and aims to tackle the low uptake of screening invitations by women living in some areas of Northern Ireland. Impact assessments have shown that participants are more likely to attend screening after participating in the programme.

The programme aims to:
Raise awareness regarding breast, cervical and bowel screening.
• Encourage participants to avail of screening services on offer.
• Explore and address fears surrounding screening processes.

To learn more about the sessions, click here. You can also contact Lea on lea.braithwaite@wrda.net or 028 9023 0212.
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