Having a breast screen in your forties can help save lives, according to Bupa. More than half of breast cancers it detected last year as part of a health assessment programme were in women under 50 years old and would not have been detected through routine NHS screening.
Breast cancer remains the most common cause of cancer in women in the UK with nearly 46,000 people diagnosed every year. Bupa has been providing breast screening for nearly 30 years and believes that early detection is crucial.
Dr Janet Donaldson says, “It is important for all women to be breast aware. We all lead incredibly busy lives and it is only too easy to ignore minor changes, when a simple check could make a difference. Breast screening from the age of 40 gives women the best opportunity to detect any abnormalities early and offers a much greater chance of successful treatment if any are detected.“
Research published by the World Health Organisation shows that mammography (breast X-ray) screening saves one life in every 500 women screened.
Many women find the prospect of going for a mammogram daunting, but it is just an X-ray that takes only a few minutes. The benefits are significant because it can reveal abnormalities before they can be felt. If you are a woman over 50, you should definitely attend routine breast screening appointments and if you are younger, consider having a regular mammography in your 40s.
Private health insurance: News update: 21 October 2009