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NHS breast screening unit to visit Orkney

Women in Orkney between the ages of 50 and 70 years will be receiving invitations, over the next few months, to attend for breast screening when the mobile unit returns to Orkney, from Monday from April 9.

The Unit will be based at Balfour Hospital in the Macmillan Ward car park and will be there for approximately five months.

The Breast Screening Service visits Orkney every three years and, according to NHS Grampian, Orkney remains one of the highest screening uptakes in the country, with 84 per cent of eligible women attending for screening.

Dr Gerald Lip, Clinical Director for the North East of Scotland Breast Screening Service, is encouraging all those invited to attend: “Women between the ages of 50 and 70 years who are registered with a GP Practice will receive an invitation for screening. Women 71 years and over will not automatically be sent an invitation but they are encouraged to make their own appointment by phoning us in Aberdeen

“Orkney has an impressive record with breast screening uptake and I would urge all eligible Orkney women to continue to take advantage of this important screening programme as they have done in the past. Women attending for screening will have two views taken of each breast. A small percentage of women who require further assessment will subsequently be recalled to the centre in Aberdeen for review.

“It is really important that women continue to come for screening each time we visit Orkney so that we can ensure there have been no changes in the three years since we were last here.  If any woman missed or failed to attend three years ago it is still important to come along for screening this time”.

Invitation letters will be sent out approximately three to four weeks prior to the screening appointment date.

Dr Louise Wilson, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Orkney also encouraged all women to attend their appointment. “The risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older and the best way of screening for breast cancer is by having regular mammograms as you may not be able to see or feel any early changes in the breast tissue.

“Detecting cancer early provides the best chance of successful treatment.  In 2015 there were 37 patients diagnosed with breast cancer that was detected through breast screening. We can be confident that we can improve survival outcomes for people with cancer by detecting it earlier. If you have cancer then the earlier it is treated the better and screening is a way of detecting cancer at an early stage.”

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