Women at risk by not checking for symptoms of breast cancer

editorial image

Over half of all Scottish women could be putting themselves at risk by not regularly checking their breasts for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

A YouGov survey of over 500 women living in Scotland found that for the 54 per cent of women who don’t check regularly, the main reason for not doing so was they simply forgot.

Alarmingly, nine per cent of women admitted they have never checked their breasts.

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month commences, Breast Cancer Now warns more work must be done to encourage Scottish women to be breast aware, as 16 per cent of Scottish women (who don’t regularly check their breasts), said they don’t know what signs and symptoms to look for.

In response to this, the charity wants all women in Scotland to Touch Look Check to help identify any changes to their body that could be a sign or symptom of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Now has also created a helpful guide that informs women about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer to be on the lookout for, with a video available to give more information.

Mary Allison, Director for Scotland, Breast Cancer Now said: “Over 4600 women in Scotland will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 1000 women will lose their lives to the disease.

“We know that early diagnosis can save lives, so it’s incredibly important that women know what to look out for and that they regularly check their breasts.

“The results of this survey are incredibly worrying as it tell us many Scottish women are not checking their breasts. Most cases of breast cancer are found by women noticing unusual changes and visiting their GP so it’s vital that Scottish women regularly check themselves and take action if they spot anything unusual.”

Margaret Kilmartin was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2012 after finding a lump. Fortunately her treatment was successful. She said: “Checking your breasts is simple so important. I want to urge women to be breast aware and visit the doctor if they spot anything that worries them.”