October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and women in the Midlands are being encouraged to attend for their regular breast screening appointment if they are contacted by screening services.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had a major impact on the NHS, including on breast screening services and, as a result, women may have waited longer than they usually do to be invited for regular screening. Now that services are getting up and running again, they can feel reassured by the safety measures that have been put in place.
Breast screening aims to find cancers early using an x-ray test called a mammogram. This can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel. To protect everyone against the possible spread of Covid-19, screening providers will ensure that social distancing can be observed, and additional infection control procedures have been introduced. This includes the wearing of personal protective equipment by staff such as face masks and gloves.
Enhanced infection control measures mean that appointments may be held at a clinic different to the usual venue and these may take longer than usual. Women are also being asked to wear a face covering at their appointment, unless there is a reason that they cannot do so.
Dr Ash Banerjee, Screening and Immunisations Lead for NHS England and Improvement in the Midlands says:
“Measures are in place to ensure that essential, routine screening can be delivered safely. About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, so it’s important to attend for routine screening when this is offered.
“As long as you or any member of your household are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus and are not self-isolating, breast screening should take place as normal.
“Please attend for your screening appointment if you are contacted by a breast screening provider and informed that you are due for your routine screen.”
About routine breast screening:
After screening, about 1 in 25 women will be called back for further assessment. Being called back does not mean that someone has cancer. The first mammogram may have been unclear. About 1 in 4 women who are called back for further assessment are diagnosed with breast cancer.
As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday who are registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast screening every 3 years. Women may be eligible for breast screening before the age of 50 if they have a very high risk of developing breast cancer.
Anyone worried about breast cancer symptoms should speak to their GP as soon as possible.
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.
These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help.
Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery. Find out more information at www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk
Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
The NHS App is available now on iOS and Android. To use it you must be aged 13 and over and registered with a GP surgery in England.
Use the NHS App to:
If your GP surgery or hospital offers other services in the NHS App, you may be able to:
After you download the app, you will need to set up an NHS login and prove who you are. The app then securely connects to information from your GP surgery.
If your device supports fingerprint detection or facial recognition, you can use it to log in to the NHS App each time, instead of using a password and security code.
If you have any issues using or downloading the app, check the NHS App help and support page.
Changes to Audley Health Centre:
We are continuing to open and offer our service as normal with the following exceptions:
This service, at nhs.uk, is for those who have been told to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.
This service is only for people who:
If you are not sure if you need to stay at home, get the latest NHS advice on coronavirus.
If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.
You can also use this service for someone else.