Breast cancer awareness month!

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October is breast cancer awareness month! Book an appointment with the doctor for an examination soon!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is breast cancer awareness month and we take this opportunity to remind all women to be breast aware.

Breast cancer is common, it can be found early and treated successfully.  The key message is

  • know your breasts and
  • know what change feels like

A breast examination is quick and painless.  If you find something in your breast that you are worried about; a GP appointment can usually be scheduled very quickly. Your GP can also show you how to examine your own breasts.

  • So what changes should women look for?

Often changes in breast tissue are part of the hormonal cycle and nothing to worry about.  Breasts can become swollen and sore just before a period is due.  As you grow older you may notice your breasts changing in shape and size, especially if you breastfeed or gain or lose weight.  If you get used to examining and looking at your own breasts regularly, you will be comfortable with these changes.

When examining your breasts, key changes to be aware of include hard lumps or unusual thickenings in the breast, dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast, changes in the nipple or a painful lump in the armpit.  If you note any of these changes it is important to see your GP.

Often changes in the breast or even a frightening lump are not necessarily cancer.  Younger women may have benign growths or swelling related to hormones.

  • If there is a concern and further tests are needed

Cork University Hospital is a designated centre of excellence right on your doorstep.  Our patients have access to a superb symptomatic breast service run by a team of highly skilled nurses, radiographers and surgeons.

There are approximately 316 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed every year in County Cork.  The good news is that the majority of women in Ireland diagnosed with breast cancer are cured with treatment and more than 80% are alive and well five years after diagnosis.  Treatment for breast cancer includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  More than three quarter of all breast cancers diagnosed are in women over 50 years of age.  This is why the HSE, through Breast Check, provide a free screening mammogram every 2 years to women age between 50 and 64

Any abnormality found at Breast Check is seen in a specialist clinic within one to two weeks.

Worryingly, despite TV, radio and billboard advertising, the numbers of women attending for their first mammogram in Cork are dropping.  In some areas uptake for a first mammogram has fallen below 50%.  Breast check have responded by providing mobile breast units in Ballincollig and other busy Cork suburbs.

  • Mobile Unit

The mobile breast unit will be back in Ballincollig by mid-October.  It serves a large area including Macroom, Ovens and Blarney.  It will be based in the grounds of the GAA club in Powdermills.

  • What does a mammogram involve?

A mammogram takes a few minutes and pressure is applied to each breast for a few seconds.  Several views of the breast are taken to get a proper picture of the breast.  Some women find the mammogram uncomfortable but each picture requires just 5 to 7 seconds of pressure.

  • How do I register for Breast Check?

If you are age between 50 and 64 and have not yet had a mammogram free phone 1800 454555 or look up for more information.

If you think you have a relative or friend who is eligible for a mammogram but has not availed of it have a chat with them and encourage them to attend.  The more women who attend for a mammogram, the more breast cancer will be treated early.  If however, you are unsure about examining your breasts or would like a simple breast exam, just schedule an appointment with your GP and you can learn more about breast health and learn how to examine your own breasts.

  • Family history

Women with a strong family history of breast cancer may be suitable for earlier screening through the hospital clinic.

  • What you can do to reduce risk

You can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by reducing your alcohol intake, keeping your weight in a healthy range and breast feeding your children. We also advise you to quit smoking and be physically active.

The take ­home message this month is to be breast aware, attend your Breast Check mammogram when you are invited and encourage your relatives and friends to do likewise!

Opening Hours

Monday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm
CLOSED 1.00pm - 2.00pm

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Contact Us

The Grove Medical Centre, Main Rd, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.
Phone: 021 4877817
Fax: 021 4877930