Younger women delay breast check
Many women who find a lump in their breast delay seeing a doctor because they believe that only women over 50 or those with a family history develop breast cancer, a new study has found.
According to the research, by the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) and the Athlone Institute of Technology, almost two-thirds of Irish women see a health professional immediately after discovering a breast lump or change.
However, almost a quarter of the women waited for one to two weeks and 4% of women waited 12 – 18 months before seeing their doctor.
The most common reason cited by participants for not going to their GP sooner was because they did not think the breast change was serious.
Another common reason for delaying seeking medical advice was because of other ongoing personal issues such as a divorce or a recent pregnancy.
The study was conducted in four major cancer care hospitals across Ireland and was published at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
One in 11 women living in Ireland will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. And the latest data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland shows that 2,479 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2007.
Researcher Dr Noreen Cushen said the study shows that a significant proportion of women, when they detect a change in their breast, do not seek medical advice immediately.
“Women need to build breast awareness into their daily routine rather than promoting a rigid self-examination policy. They need to know their breasts and act immediately when they notice a change. Every breast change has to be investigated,” Dr Cushen said.
Speaking at the launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Joan Kelly from the ICS said: “Women who have changes in the breast often mistake symptoms as being benign, believe that breast cancer is unlikely in the absence of a positive family history, or that they are too young. However, it is very important that women understand that all new breast changes should be investigated.”
so true, at 38 ive discovered a lump. I noticed a change in breast tissue 6 months ago and did nothing. after all it wasnt a lump then..now i await an excisional biopsy & every medical pro involved feels that most likely it is cancer. I waited six months too long, it appears. How will i explain this to my 9 year old daughter? Get checked women! Dont be stupid!
When I awoke on our wedding anniversary, any thoughts of celebration were swept away by the overnight appearance of a egg sized lump under my arm. In instinctively knew
Following a week of nervous waiting, on 1st April 2008 I was diagnosed as having a stage 3, aggressive form of breast cancer. I6 months later I have now had a third “all clear”. In that time I’ve also gone through the anquish of two false alarms.
I am a published poet and part of my coping strategy during those dreadful months of treatment was to write a diary. I’ve now published that journal in book form.
Why? It is not the question “Why me?”
There is little point in wasting emotion on such a question.
Breast cancer is all around me. Several friends have suffered it, and survived it, before it became my turn. In fact, at times, it seems like an epidemic.
The question “Why?” is behind my reasoning for wanting to publish this little book. In wanting to see this story in print, I have had to ask myself ‘why’; to question my motives.
The reason has nothing to do with ego. I have written more than enough poetry, which has been enjoyed by so many people, so seeing my words in print was certainly not a reason.
Having completed it, it is very likely that I would not have chosen to read a book such as this just as I was embarking on this unwanted trip of a lifetime. I found it difficult enough to read the Cancer support websites at times, as too much information all at once can be difficult to cope with. Others may disagree.
I would like to think this book would be read by health professionals involved in cancer care, strategic planning and hospital organisation, management and staff training. Hopefully it would benefit their understanding of what it is like from the patient’s side of the mountain.
The book “A rhythm of my choosing” was published in August 09. It may help others (including partnrs/familiy/carers) who are on this journey.
I am a young woman who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 29 – it was a total shock to me – I truly believed it only happened to older women – how wrong was I !!!