Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Breast screening ambassadors mark 30 years of saving lives

Irene Sturgeon, Joan Laughlin, Karen Blythe and Marie McDonald at the celebratory lunch of Action Cancer's 30 years of breast screening.LOCAL breast cancer survivors have celebrated 30 years of breast screening by becoming community ambassadors for the service.

To mark the 30th anniversary of Action Cancer's breast screening service the charity invited some ladies who had been detected through Action Cancer to attend a celebratory lunch recently.

The group included Joan Laughlin, Marie McDonald, Karen Blythe and Irene Sturgeon from Lisburn whose breast cancer was detected by the cancer charity.

At the lunch Joan, Marie, Karen, Irene and the other ladies were asked to become ambassadors of breast screening in their own communities �telling neighbours, friends, colleagues and relatives of their experience and encouraging them to be proactive with their health and get screened. Joanna Currie, Consultant Radiographer for Action Cancer said: "Research has proven that breast screening reduces mortality but, for various reasons, we still find some ladies don't come forward. This can be because they don't know of our service, they keep meaning to do it or they think it won't happen to them but Action Cancer feel very strongly that these ladies should be encouraged to come forward."

The community-based approach is central to the charity's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and are joining forces with Gordons Chemists, who will be helping to fundraise and take the screening message directly to the public.

Aine McManus Manager of the local Gordons Chemists store on Bow Street said: "This year is a three decade milestone for Action Cancer and it's possible that hearing the stories of some of the ladies that the charity has helped over the years will help to save even more lives. It also reminds us why we are doing this campaign and what the money that we raise will go towards."

Northern Ireland ladies aged 50-64 are invited by the NHS to attend for their mammogram while those aged 40-49 and 65+, who fall outside of the NHS age range, can contact Action Cancer to arrange a breast screening appointment.

Every month approximately 1100 appointments are available through Action Cancer House. Anyone interested in obtaining an appointment should call the Action Cancer appointments line on 028 9080 3344.


Ulster Star