October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The GHA has taken this opportunity to increase knowledge of the disease and encourage the public to be breast aware.
This means being familiar with how your breasts look and feel so that you can spot any changes straight away. It is also an opportunity for the GHA to explain its services.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women worldwide. 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis. However, around 1 in 1000 men will also receive a breast cancer diagnosis. The GHA says it is aware that approaching your Doctor when you have discovered a change in your breast can be a very worrying time.
The launch of the GHA’s Breast Cancer booklets during this month will provide necessary information should the public ever have to see a doctor with a breast concern.
The first booklet, Journey through the Breast Cancer Clinic, explains what to expect from the GHA when referred for a breast lump/breast concern and the path from a GP to Breast Clinic to investigation to diagnosis.
The second booklet, Journey through Breast Cancer, explains what happens when you are diagnosed with breast cancer and what treatments you will have available at the GHA.
The third booklet, Discharge, is about what to expect and look out for once you have completed your 5-year follow up with the breast team and are ready to be discharged back to the GP.
The booklets will be available to patients in hard format and will also be available on the GHA website and social media.
The GHA’s Breast Care team have organised an awareness campaign throughout the month of October. Updates will be posted on the GHA website www.gha.gi and the GHA social media platforms.
Miss Christina Macano said: “I am very pleased that we have the opportunity to provide these booklets aimed at the journey through Breast Cancer. The internet can be full of information, but most of what is out on the web is not relevant and can really scare our patients. I know that the better informed our patients are the better they can understand and cope with investigations, treatments etc. The unknown can be very distressing – giving our patients knowledge allows them to get control and understanding, which is vastly important when they are going though such a stressful and life changing time in their lives.”
The Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “Early detection, often through screening, can catch the disease when it is most treatable so it is important that we create as much awareness as possible and educate the public on the health impact of breast cancer and the importance of taking personal responsibility for our health. Miss Macano was appointed the GHA’s Breast Cancer Lead in January 2018, since which date there have been remarkable improvements in the development of the service and its coordination within the GHA. I am extremely grateful to Miss Macano and her team in bringing services to the next level and for organising such an important awareness campaign this year.”