A Limavady woman is backing up Action Cancer’s call urging women in their 40’s and over 70’s to make booking a breast screening appointment one of their health goals in 2020.
The charity offers breast screening to ladies in these age groups who have no symptoms or concerns. By encouraging women to have a screening mammogram Action Cancer can save lives through early detection of breast cancer.
In 2018 Action Cancer invested £500,000 in the latest breast screening equipment, becoming the first and only breast screening unit in the UK to use 3D technology for breast screening. Limavady woman Sonya Cassidy, who is 48 years of age, attended Action Cancer for the first time in September 2019.
She said: “I had my first breast screening last year. Booking an appointment couldn’t be easier, as you can do it online or over the phone. The Action Cancer staff are really friendly and put you at ease straight away. “The screening process only takes about fifteen minutes in total. I received my results a few weeks later and thankfully my mammogram was normal. You can book a breast screening appointment online at www.actioncancer.org or by calling 028 9080 3344.”
All of Action Cancer’s services are free of charge to the user. However, each breast screening appointment costs the charity approximately £80. As the charity receives no government funding, it relies on the generosity of the general public and local business community to maintain and deliver its services. Last year Action Cancer launched a new fundraising campaign ‘Breast Friends’ to maintain the delivery of this unique service.
‘Breast Friends’ is empowered by Coleraine-based online car insurance company, its4women.co.uk, which has committed to matching every pound raised by the general public up to a total value of £90,000 over the next three years. The total funds of £180,000 will allow Action Cancer to provide 2,250 free breast screening appointments for local women, saving approximately 15 lives and providing peace of mind to over 2,000 women.
Kerry Beckett, Marketing Manager, its4women.co.uk, said: “When cancer hits the home of people you love, it can turn your entire world upside down. Our partnership with Action Cancer is one that we are deeply proud and committed to over the next three years.
“It is a partnership that will save lives whilst encouraging women to seek early detection and support each other through difficult journeys. We’re so excited to be supporting Action Cancer via the ‘Breast Friends’ campaign and we look forward to seeing what incredible results we have achieved.”
Its4women is bringing Action Cancer’s mobile unit, the BIG BUS to Railway Place car park, 2 Railway Place, Coleraine, BT52 1PF on February 11, with appointments running between 9.30am and 3.00pm.
At the time of publishing this article appointments for breast screening were fully booked however the Big Bus also offers MOT Health Checks to men or women aged 16+. It is a great way to establish a current picture of your health. The check takes about 20 minutes and you will receive a variety of tests, including blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
You will also stand on the body composition scales to receive a print out of details such as muscle mass, hydration levels, fat around your organs, and BMI. The Health Promotion Officer carrying out your assessment will be able to provide advice and information about lifestyle improvements and cancer prevention.
Appointments for both services must be booked in advance. Call Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344, Option 6 from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturday. Alternatively, visit www.actioncancer.org/appointments to book in.
Action Cancer also offers free support services to people impacted by any type of cancer, helping the individual diagnosed, their family members and friends or carers. These services include: one-to-one counselling; complementary therapy which incorporates pain and symptom control therapies (both from age 5+); life coaching; acupuncture; group support programme (Positive Living Programme) and peer mentoring.
As part of the ‘Breast Friends’ campaign everyone is encouraged to host an event such as a movie night, coffee morning, sponsored walk or something creative and innovative to make a great event and raise funds in the process. For tips and ideas contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9080 3347.