DETECT Cancer Early is the message from the latest Scottish Government campaign to tackle breast cancer.
The £30 million drive is designed to saves lives through early detection, as one in nine women in Scotland will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, making it the most common cancer for Scottish women. But they are five times more likely to survive if diagnosed and treated at the earliest stage.
Angela Moran (52) lives at Kettilstoun Crescent, Linlithgow, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago. She said: “My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer prior to myself so I was already aware of the symptoms and I checked myself regularly.
‘‘When I found a lump in my left breast, I made a GP appointment straight away but it was quite strange as I couldn’t always feel it and wondered if I was just being over anxious because of my sister.”
But after a mammogram and biopsy, breast cancer was confirmed, and Angela (pictured, right) had to have a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, followed by chemotherapy and doses of the drug Herceptin.
She added: “I realise how lucky I was to catch the breast cancer so early on.
‘‘Since recovering, I’ve experienced lots of lovely moments with my terrific friends and family.
‘‘My experience with breast cancer was a difficult but positive journey.
‘‘I’m always amazed by the amount of women who don’t regularly check their breasts or go for mammograms. These simple steps could save your life!
“If you do find something that you’re worried about, it’s always best to face up to it – no matter how frightened you are. Making an appointment with your GP is the hardest but most important step you can take.”
Angela now volunteers at St John’s oncology department and helps with the charity Breast Cancer Care.
lKey symptoms of breast cancer are: a lump or area of thickened tissue or bumps in either breast, a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts, a lump or swelling in either armpit, skin that appears like orange peel, crusting on or around the nipple or leaking nipples, dimples, skin becoming drawn in, or a nipple that becomes turned in. or pointing differently.