IN SUPPORT of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Barnsley Hospital is raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

The hospital will also be making people aware of the importance of attending screening appointments. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around one in eight women in the UK being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

However, if detected earlier, treatment has a higher rate of success. Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early.

It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel. The test takes a few minutes and might feel uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful.

As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday, and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast screening every three years.

As well as attending breast screening it’s important women check their breasts regularly for changes and if anyone does notice any changes they are asked to make an appointment to speak to a GP.

Macmillan Trust lead cancer nurse Sara Andrews said: “I encourage women to regularly look and feel their breasts. That way, you can spot any changes quickly and report them to your GP.

"As well as checking your breasts it’s important to take up your breast screening invites as mammograms can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.

“If you think you may have missed a breast screening, or have not been invited, contact your local breast unit. The earlier breast cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.”

Anyone can still have screening once they are aged 71 or over and can arrange an appointment by contacting Barnsley Hospital on 432 100.