A BreastCheck mobile digital screening unit is on location in the grounds of St Vincent’s Hospital, beside the Health Centre, in Athlone.
As BreastCheck returns to Co Westmeath, women aged between 50 and 64 are advised to attend their mammogram when invited. A BreastCheck appointment only takes 30 minutes and the vast majority of women screened are found to be perfectly healthy.
Most women aged 50-64 have had at least one free BreastCheck mammogram, and eight out of every ten women come for their next mammogram when they get their appointment. However, the overall numbers of women taking part in the programme are falling and BreastCheck is particularly concerned that women in their early 50s are becoming less likely to go for their appointment.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age and it is important women aged 50-64 avail of their regular free mammogram every two years so that changes can be identified at an early stage. At this point, if a breast cancer is found it is generally easier to treat and there are more treatment options available.
The programme also encourages eligible women to make sure they are on the BreastCheck register by checking online at www.breastcheck.ie or by calling 1800 45 45 55. For women who have never been part of BreastCheck, there is a short video about having a mammogram on the website showing exactly what happens at the appointment.
What changes should I look and feel for when self examining?
· Any lumps or unusual thickening in your breast
· Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin
· A nipple that appears to be pulled in or flattened
· A rash or flaky or crusted skin around the nipple
· A change in the size or shape of your breast
· Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
· Constant pain in one part of your breast or armpit