Designer opens new Stratford cancer screening unit
- Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson
Breast cancer screening in east London is set to get a boost with a new unit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The breast screening unit at the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre - the former Medical and Doping Centre for London 2012 - was officially opened today by breast cancer ambassador and renowned fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes.
She joined the Deputy Mayor of London, Victoria Borwick, in taking a tour of the new facilities and meeting with nurses, specialists and cancer patients.
Dame Zandra said: “More women are outliving breast cancer than ever before and it is because of wonderful services like this one that they spot cancer when it is still early and treatable.
“But breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, and thousands of women still lose their lives to it every year. You are more likely to survive breast cancer if it is caught at an early stage so if you are a woman over the age of 50, get screened.’
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The borough’s previous facility was a mobile unit, but the new centre will provide a permanent base for women over 50, who are called for an appointment every three years.
With early diagnosis increasing the probability of successful treatment, the hope is that the new centre will encourage more women, especially those from ethnic minorities and on low incomes, to attend routine breast cancer screenings.
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Canning Town-based charity Community Links has run a telephone service for the past four years, ringing women who have received a screening appointment to make them aware of the reasons why they should go.
Zoraida Colorado, who was at today’s launch, said: “Our team of multi-lingual outreach workers phoned women who were due their mammogram appointment, and individually addressed their concerns and encouraged them to attend their appointments.
“Using this approach we achieved a 15 per cent increase in the take up rate of breast screening, surpassing our original target of 10pc.”
The charity is also training students from St Angela’s Ursuline to become breast cancer life savers.