Breast screening starts in Harris

Women in Harris are being urged to attend their breast screening appointments over the next couple of weeks, now that the screening unit has moved to Tarbert.

Breast screening started in Harris from April 28th and the unit will be located in the Tourist Information car park, Tarbert, until Thursday, May 8th.

All women in the Western Isles aged between 50 and 70 receive a breast screening appointment at the mobile unit.

Those unable to attend their scheduled appointment for any reason are being urged to contact the Breast Screening Centre (01463 705416) as soon as possible so that their appointment can be rescheduled.

It is also important to notify the centre if you are unable to attend so that available appointment slots can be offered to others, including women aged 71 and over, who are invited to self refer for screening.

For women in Harris or Lewis unable to attend the above scheduled dates, additional sessions will be held in the unit, in Western Isles Hospital car park in Stornoway, on Monday, May 12th and Tuesday, May 13th.

This will be the final chance for women in Lewis and Harris to attend appointments as part of this round of screening. The breast screening team visits the Western Isles every three years, so it is important that women attend their appointment, where possible.

Breast Screening in Barra and Benbecula

Breast screening will take place in Barra from Monday, May 12th, until Thursday, May 15th.

Women in Barra are strongly urged to attend their scheduled appointment during this period.

Any ladies in Barra aged 71 and over wishing to self refer should contact the Breast Screening Centre in Inverness on 01463 705416 as soon as possible to arrange an appointment.

The breast screening unit will be located at Castlebay Pier.

Screening will then take place in Benbecula from Tuesday, May 20th, until Thursday, June 26th (location to be confirmed).

Alongside self-checking, breast screening plays a vital role in detecting cancer at an early stage before symptoms become noticeable; and is particularly important as breast cancer is more common in women aged over 50.

Convenor of the Lewis and Harris Breast Cancer Support Group Mary Macleod said: “The vast majority of results are clear, however it is vitally important that women attend their screening appointments to make sure that, if cancer is detected, it is picked up as early as possible.

“We would strongly urge all women over 50 to attend a screening appointment.”

Martin Malcolm, NHS Western Isles Interim Cervical and Breast Screening Coordinator, added: We know that if breast cancer is found at an early stage, treatment has the greatest chance of being successful.

“The best way of doing this is by having regular mammograms, as you may not be able to see or feel any early changes to your breasts. Breast cancer can affect any woman, and it affects one in 10 Scottish women at some time in their life.”

Around five in 100 women will be invited to a second stage of screening to attend an appointment for further tests. It is important to remember that the vast majority of those invited back are found to be clear of any breast disease and will be returned to routine recall.

If you have any queries, or have not yet received an appointment, contact the Breast Screening Centre in Inverness on 01463 705416.