Nurses urged to spread breast cancer awareness messages
New research published by Breakthrough Breast Cancer today reveals that women are more likely to regularly check their breasts if a healthcare professional has discussed breast awareness with them.
However, only 41% of women recall their practice nurse or GP talking about the importance of checking their breasts for the signs and symptoms of the disease, despite identifying GPs as their main source of health information.
As a result, Breakthrough is encouraging healthcare professionals across the UK to spread the charity's simple yet vital breast awareness message - Show your breasts some TLC: Touch your breasts; Look for changes; Check anything unusual with your doctor.
Breakthrough's survey of 2,005 women found that only 35% of women aged 18-64 check their breasts regularly. Nearly one in four women (23%) reported that they rarely or never check their breasts for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
More than 70% of women who said they rarely or never check their breasts either forget or simply never think about it.
Over a third of women who report not checking their breasts regularly say it's because they don't know how to check them or what to look out for.
Sarah Cant, Policy Manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer says: "GPs and their staff are in a unique position to help spread vital breast cancer awareness messages and that's why we're challenging GPs to make sure that their surgeries provide the most up-to-date breast awareness information."
As part of Breakthrough's Talk TLC campaign, the charity will be sending an eye-catching breast awareness poster to all GP practices in the UK for display in waiting rooms.
"I am a school nurse that delivers a breast awareness session to grammar school girls aged 15–16 every year. Any up-to-date information and DVDs are very hard to find. I've spent hours trying to find resources that I can use so have had to make some of my own." - Dawn Ferguson, Warwickshire