Over 2,500 women urged to be screened

Pictured are (L-R) Joanna Currie, consultant radiographer for Action Cancer and Fiona McQuillan, Gordons Chemists' pharmacist
Pictured are (L-R) Joanna Currie, consultant radiographer for Action Cancer and Fiona McQuillan, Gordons Chemists' pharmacist

LATEST figures released have revealed that during Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2012, Northern Ireland’s leading, local cancer charity Action Cancer, in partnership with Gordons Chemists, encouraged 2,600 local women to come forward for a breast screening.

Action Cancer is the only charity in the UK and Ireland to offer free breast screening to asymptomatic women aged 40 – 49 and over 70, those who fall outside the NHS screening age range (50 – 70).

For every 1,000 women screened an average of six cancers are detected.

This means that as a result of this year’s BCAM, 16 cancers will be detected that otherwise may have gone unnoticed, and 2,584 women will be given peace of mind.

Fiona McQuillan, pharmacist for Gordons Chemists, said: “This year over 200 forms were filled out and £25,000 was raised by staff and customers. As it costs Action Cancer £80 to offer a mammogram, the Gordons Chemists fundraising total will provide over 300 local women with a free breast screening appointment. We believe very strongly in the service Action Cancer is providing and the lives that are being saved in the communities we serve, so we’re delighted to be able to help spread this important and potentially life-saving health message.”

Joanna Currie, Action Cancer consultant radiographer, added: “Every October we organise a BCAM campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of breast cancer, offer advice on how to self-check and highlight the importance of early detection in saving lives by encouraging women to come for a screening.

“On an average month we receive approximately 800 requests for screening appointments; during BCAM that number more than triples. These figures illustrate the impact and importance of our BCAM campaign in encouraging local women to be proactive about their health and in potentially saving lives.”

Women were able to schedule an appointment with Action Cancer over the phone, online, using the BreastAware app or by filling out a self-referral form available in their local Gordons Chemists.

Gordons Chemists, which has 52 stores across Northern Ireland, has partnered Action Cancer’s BCAM campaign for the fifth consecutive year.

Over the month of October, in addition to providing the self referral forms in store, the pharmacy chain also fundraises for the unique screening service.

Anyone interested in obtaining a breast screening appointment should contact Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344, download Action Cancer’s BreastAware app or visit www.actioncancer.org.