As the GHA reaches the end of its campaign during October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month that aims to increase the awareness, early detection and treatment of this disease, it is important to acknowledge the importance of Breast Screening. Breast screening aims to detect breast cancers at an early stage. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel.
The Gibraltar Health Authority’s Breast Screening programme invites women aged between 40 and 70 for a mammogram at two yearly intervals. Everyone experiences mammograms differently. Some women may feel slight discomfort during the procedure, whilst others may not feel anything at all. Women with breast implants should still get regular screening mammograms as recommended.
In addition to the screening programme, a weekly one-stop Breast Clinic is available. Women with breast cancer symptoms are referred to the clinic where they are examined by the surgeons and then referred to Radiology for the appropriate imaging assessment.
Any women in the 40-70 age group who have not yet received an invitation for your mammogram are asked to notify the Radiology Department on 20007214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Similarly, anyone who may not have taken up their invitation to attend a mammogram are encouraged to reschedule a new appointment.
Dr Marcela Zagurova, Consultant Breast Radiologist and Clinical lead for Gibraltar Breast Screening Programme said, “Mammography screening may save your life”.
The Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP said “I cannot stress enough how important it is to screen for Breast Cancer even if there are no symptoms, which is why it is so important that appointments are kept when invited. The goal of screening is to catch cancers early and is therefore easier to treat than later stage cancers, meaning that the chance of survival is higher. I encourage all those who are eligible for a mammogram to ensure they arrange their appointments soonest”.