Castleford women urged to attend breast cancer screening appointments as figures show significant numbers don’t turn up

Date: 09/09/2014

Women in Castleford are being urged to attend their mammogram appointment as figures reveal that, in some areas of the town, less than half attend.

Survival rates for women diagnosed via screening are much better than those diagnosed once symptoms occur. In some areas of Castleford less than 50% of women attend their free and critical screening appointment which helps with early diagnosis of breast cancer. This is compared to 72% in other parts of the district.

Sharing her story to encourage women to get screened is cancer survivor and Castleford resident Brenda Grice.

"Two years ago I attended a routine breast screening appointment and a few days later I received a letter through the post asking me back for further tests.  After a biopsy I was told straight away I had cancer, but that it had been caught in the early stages and this would improve my chances of surviving it."

After a lumpectomy – an operation to remove the cancerous lump – and 15 sessions of radiotherapy Brenda was given the all clear.

"I really can't understand why someone wouldn't attend a screening appointment," said Brenda, whose mother died of breast cancer.

"I truly believe that attending the screening appointment has given me an extra few years of life. My experience has made me realise how precious life is, if it hadn't been for the screening I honestly don't know where I'd be now."

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Wakefield Council's Cabinet member for Adults and Health said: "It's so important that people take advantage of the early screening available for breast cancer. It really can save lives."

"Women in the target age across Castleford will be receiving their appointment letters in the next few months and I'd urge them to go to their appointment. They are easily rearranged if the time isn't convenient and the process is quick and painless."

Mammogram appointments are offered every three years to all women aged over 47 and up to 73 years.  Women aged over 73 years can ask for screening and should speak with their GP.