Please just pick up the phone, buy time and help protect your health

Fellow columnist Helen Martin this week stressed the importance of women keeping their appointments for breast screening, pointing out that less than three-fifths of women aged 50-70 in the poorest areas do so.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 4:45 am
Screening for serious illness is one of the most effective ways of combatting disease - but too many appointments are still missed.

She went on to explain that despite not displaying any symptoms her screening some years ago detected a cancerous tumour and that the subsequent treatment saved her life.

I have written in similar terms regarding men over 50 years old having their prostate checked and how my early diagnosis of prostate cancer, also despite not displaying any symptoms, ensured that my treatment stood a much greater chance of success.

A Scottish Government website informs us that “The earlier the stage at which cancer is found and treated, the higher the chance of survival or cure. Individuals from areas of higher deprivation remain more likely to present with later stage disease and are less likely to take part in screening when invited, which continues to be one of the most effective ways to find some cancers at an early stage.”

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It cannot be stressed enough that early detection of cancer goes a very long way to ensuring successful treatment but too many people still either ignore symptoms or do not participate in NHS programmes such as with the home testing kit for bowel cancer. The current pandemic has complicated matters but access to information regarding detection and treatment can be found at clinics, surgeries and on- line, amongst others.

Any health concerns should be brought to the attention of professionals, it might only be a phone call away but it might save your life.