Breast cancer screening extension will save lives in County Westmeath

The Irish Cancer Society is calling on the women of Westmeath, and the TDs who represent them, to join them at Leinster House on September 30 to demand the Government keep its promise to extend BreastCheck to women aged 65-69.

The Irish Cancer Society will hand in a petition of signatures to the Government calling on Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to include the screening extension in the HSE’s National Services Plan for 2015.

The charity is also calling on Longford-Westmeath TDs Gabrielle McFadden, James Bannon, Willie Penrose, and Robert Troy to show their support for the campaign.

The Irish Cancer Society is asking women to wear pink and meet at 12 noon on Tuesday September 30 in the square beside Agriculture House on Kildare Street, Dublin 2 (opposite the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Employment ).

Kathleen O’Meara of the Irish Cancer Society said, “When BreastCheck is extended to women in this age group, every year 87 lives will be saved across the country. In Longford and Westmeath, five women will be saved every year.”

If BreastCheck was extended, for every 500 women screened, one cancer will be detected which would result in 87 women’s lives being saved annually.

Women aged 60 to 69 have the second highest incidence of breast cancer and the second highest chance of dying from it. Yet only half of this age group is currently being screened under the free national screening service. Women who are 65 to 69 are not being screened at all.

This is happening in the run-up to Paint it Pink Day on October 3, as part of the Irish Cancer Society’s new breast cancer campaign. Text ‘Pink 50300’ to donate €4 to the society.

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