Breast cancer screening saved my life and it could save yours too – Helen Martin

The poor, living in deprived areas in Scotland, have a multitude of problems. The Scottish government is trying to create more benefits, but it’s not all about money.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 7th June 2021, 1:54 pm
Breast cancer screening can detect tumours even when there are no outward signs they are there

Public Health Scotland has revealed that less than three-fifths of women aged 50 to 70 in the poorest areas take their appointment for breast screening, while four-fifths of women in better off communities certainly do.

It worries me that any women think that’s not necessary. I’d hope 100 per cent turned up.

I expected my first mammogram when I was 50 was just a routine experience with no problem. I was expecting an all-clear response but I was called back and it eventually emerged I had a cancer tumour in the right breast.

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Far fewer women from most deprived areas attending breast screening in Scotland

There was no external indication at all, no lump, no pain, no hint. When the tumour was removed, there was no clear area around it so that the breast could remain. I had a complete mastectomy and reconstruction, with five years of drugs.

When I was called back at 65 for another normal screen, they then found three tumours in the left breast. Once more there was no indication externally. Another mastectomy and reconstruction followed by ward drips and more drugs.

These mammograms caught the tumours on both breasts early at stage 1, rather than stage 4 which is often potentially fatal. So, there is no point in rejecting that screening if women think their breasts look normal and cause no pain.

It costs nothing – and it saves your life.

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