Did you know that women with a learning disability are far less likely than other women to attend breast screening?
Although breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, the latest data on breast cancer screening for eligible female shows that the number of patients decreased in all age groups with and without a learning disability. Women with a learning disability saw the largest decrease.
There are lots of reasons why this may be the case – fear, embarrassment or not knowing enough about the screening process.
To combat this the NHS has designated October 2017 as Breast Screening Awareness Month to try and increase uptake of the service.
If you know a woman with a learning disability you can help her understand why breast screening is so important, what it will be like on the day and how it will help her stay well.
There are easy guides to breast screening available to look through about breast cancer and breast screening information. There are also leaflets which show you how to check your breasts. You can even order a free reminder sticker to put in the shower.
If it is hard to talk to the person you care for then speak to their doctor or a nurse at their GP practice.
They will be able to help by providing easy to understand information, including easy read or can talk them through it during an appointment.
Whatever you call them, you need to look after them
About 1 in 8 women in the UK are told they have breast cancer during their lifetime. All women aged between 50 and 70 and registered with a doctor can have breast screening.
Women who can have breast screening will be sent a letter inviting them to an appointment. If you have not got a letter but are aged between 50 and 70 years old talk to your doctor or a nurse about looking after your breasts.
If you want to know more about breast screening have a look at the useful PDF below.