Doctors urge Newham:get wise on breast cancer

Dcotors want men and women to wise up to the facts about breast cancer this month.

Medical Consultants at BMI The London Independent Hospital are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and want residents to learn about the facts and become breast aware.

Every year 12,000 people die from the disease and a recent survey commissioned by BMI The London Independent Hospital found that in Newham, 76 per cent of people had either suffered from, or knew someone who had been affected by breast cancer.

The research worryingly found that despite high profile campaigns, 41 per cent of residents in Newham still believe that most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, have a family history or a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Mr Faisal Mihaimeed, Consultant Breast Surgeon at the hospital, said: “This is just not true. Most people who develop breast cancer do not have abnormal genes or any prior family history of the disease. That is why breast awareness and these campaigns are so vitally important.”

“There is no right or wrong way to check your breasts. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my colleagues and I are urging local residents to know what is normal for them. It is important to remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone for any subtle changes.

“Current guidelines state that you do not need to perform self breast examinations at any set interval or in any prescribed manner. But, you should know the symptoms of the disease, know what is normal for your body, and be able to quickly identify any changes. You mustn’t be complacent and it is vitally important to remember, regardless of sex, family history or genetic predisposition, everyone should be breast aware.”

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He said women should see their GP if they notice any of the following symptoms during their breast check:

� Breast lumps

� Changes in size or shape of a breast

� Dimpling to breast skin

� Thickened breast tissue

� Nipple inversion

� Lump or thickening behind the nipple

� Rash affecting the nipple

� Blood-stained discharge from the nipple

� Swelling or lump in armpit

� Unilateral breast pain if you are 40 years of age

If you are worried about any of the symptoms listed above and would like to have a private GP appointment, call 020 7780 2400.