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Women in West Norfolk and the Fens urged to have breast screening check-ups at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn

The breast care team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Victoria Fear

The breast care team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Victoria Fear

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More women are being urged to attend mammogram appointments in order detect breast cancers early and boost their chances of survival.

Some 72pc of women in the West Norfolk, Fenland and South Lincolnshire are attending their appointments with the NHS breast screening programme, which has a national target of 80pc uptake.

Now the West Norfolk Breast Unit Team, based at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, is encouraging more women to attend their mammogram appointments and be breast aware with Wear It Pink Day coming up on Friday, October 20.

The NHS Breast Screening programme invites women aged between 50 and 70 to have mammograms every three years to increase the chance that breast cancers are caught at an early stage.

Around 12,000 each year die from breast cancer but survival rates are improving all the time.

Consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon Amy Burger is hoping to encourage more women to attend their appointments.

She said: “In West Norfolk, we have just over 70pc of women attending their breast screening appointment but I would like to encourage more people to take the mammogram.

“I understand that for some women there may be an element of fear, which may put them off from attending their screening appointments, but I would like to reassure people that the majority of ladies who have a mammogram have a completely normal result.

“It has never been easier for women to attend a mammogram appointment thanks to the breast screening van, which is running in the community, along with the West Norfolk Breast Unit at the QEH.

“I would also like to encourage all women to check their breasts for any changes and to contact their GP if they are concerned by anything they find.”

Dr Paul Williams, a local GP and chair of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Attending screening appointments when invited is really important, as the quicker cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be

successful.”

Last year, the Hospital opened a new £650,000 unit for women and men who are undergoing screening or treatment. There is also the mobile unit which goes out into the community.

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