Breast screening cash will go out on the road

SPEAKING OUT Surgeon Constantinos Yiangou
SPEAKING OUT Surgeon Constantinos Yiangou

South Central Ambulance Service holding forum event

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A £500,000 cash boost for breast cancer screening in the Portsmouth area will be used to improve mobile services.

The Department of Health money will be used to buy two digital mammogram screening units.

As previously reported, the money was announced earlier this week.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the service, has two mobile units that go out to screen women, who should be tested every three years.

The new, more efficient, equipment will go into one unit so more women can be screened in one place before moving to another location.

Constantinos Yiangou, a consultant breast surgeon at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, said: ‘At QA since we opened the new department in 2009 we had the digital equipment. But the mobile unit that goes out still has the older machines.

‘So this money is going to be used to update these both with digital equipment.

‘This is excellent news for us because it means the quality of the images will be much better. And as it is digital it means the images can be stored better as well.’

Around 24,000 women aged between 50 and 70 are invited each year to be screened – equivalent to around 72,000 every three years.

But of this figure only 72.4 per cent of women actually go and get screened – lower than the national and regional average.

As reported in The News, figures from the NHS Information Centre show Portsmouth is ranked the worst in the region for screening.

Mr Yiangou reminds people how to check for early signs of breast cancer each month with the following techniques:

· Look and feel each breast and armpit.

· Move your arms around to see your breast from every angle.

You should see your GP if you notice differences such as:

· A change in the size, outline or shape of the breast.

· A change in the look or feel of the skin, such as puckering or dimpling.

· Any discomfort or pain in one breast.

· A new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same area on the other side.

To find out more call the breast unit at QA on (023) 9228 3280.