Rise in Asian and young women being diagnosed with breast cancer in East Lancashire (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Rise in Asian and young women being diagnosed with breast cancer in East Lancashire
FOUR hundred cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in East Lancashire last year, with concerns growing over young and Asian women.
Mr Lyndon Jones, a consultant surgeon at BMI Beardwood Hospital, Blackburn, said that a handful of women in their late 20s have been diagnosed, and often women will present with the problem in their mid to late 30s.
Mr Jones said: “A proportion of these were in younger women, some of whom were in their early 30s, often presenting with a more aggressive form of the disease.
“This shows that breast cancer doesn’t just affect the middle aged and older population.”
Mr Jones said doctors are unsure why younger women are being affected, but said that as their cancer tends to be fast-growing, it doesn’t lie unnoticed for long.
Mary Brennan, 64, of Kelbrook Road, Barnoldswick, set up the Barnoldswick and Earby Bosom Friends 12 years ago after being treated for breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She said: “When you’re first told you have cancer, you’re in shock and all you think about is whether you’re going to die.
“I didn’t know what was happening, and at that time there wasn’t a support group, which is why I decided to act.
“Recently I’ve seen younger women in their early 30s coming to us for support. It’s very difficult for them undergoing treatment when they are having children and raising young children as well. We have to get the message out that women of any age can get breast cancer.”
Miss Claire Murphy, consultant breast surgeon at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said 81 per cent of all new breast cancers were diagnosed in patients aged 50 or over, which breast screening is offered every three years to women aged over 50.
Miss Murphy joined with Mr Jones in expressing concern that women from the Asian population are presenting with breast cancer at a more advanced stage. She said: “We do have evidence that breast screening attendance is lowest in women from South Asian descent from poor socio economic backgrounds.
“East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust continues to work closely with partner organisations across East Lancashire to encourage cancer awareness throughout local communities and make people aware of their signs and symptoms.”
Though breast cancer is rare, it does affect men. Nationally in 2010, 77 men died from breast cancer – of which 92 per cent were in men over the age of 50.
Contact Barnoldswick and Earby Bosom Friends on 01282 814917 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to look out and feel for:
Sit up straight in front of a mirror stripped to the waist. Look at your breasts carefully and use your hands to feel for any changes or anything unusual.
- Change in size/shape
- Change in skin texture (puckering/dimpling)
- Redness or rash
- A lump or thickening that feels different from the rest
- Nipple becomes inverted/changes its position or shape
- A swelling in your armpit or around your collar bone
- Discharge from one or both nipples
- Constant pain in the breast or armpit