For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex) is highlighting the importance of attending breast screening appointments to help find and treat cancers early.
Breast screening, also known as a mammogram, is an X-ray that checks for signs of breast cancers when they are too small to see or feel.
Last year, almost 100,000 women attended their screening appointment across Sussex.
Dr Alexandra Christou, Director for Screening at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, said: “We strongly urge women to accept their invitation to these quick and easy scans because they can help us identify small changes in the breast that are treatable at an earlier stage before physical symptoms develop.”
UHSussex coordinates and manages breast screening for Brighton, Hove and East Sussex at the Park Centre for Breast Care and via three mobile units that travel around the county.
The Trust also runs the West Sussex Breast Screening Service from the Breast Unit at Worthing Hospital and via four mobile units that travel around certain areas of the county.
In total, there are seven mobile screening units across Sussex, enabling UHSussex to reach the community beyond its hospital sites, offering convenient appointments to thousands of women.
The Trust’s multi-disciplinary team provide a safe, private and friendly service from the mobile vans, which are fitted with state-of-the-art digital screening equipment to provide high quality images.
One service user commented: “The mammographer was very nice, reassuring and made me feel comfortable. She explained very well what to expect and she was also very good at explaining what she was doing as she went along.”
Women between 50-71 years old are invited by the NHS for breast screening every three years.
The screenings are for women who do not have any symptoms of breast cancer. If you are concerned by any changes you detect in your breasts, please contact your GP.
Charles Zammit, Consultant in Breast Surgery and Endocrine Surgery at The County added: “Women should also regularly check their breasts for any unusual changes in size, shape or symmetry. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely it is to be treated simply and successfully.”