CHARITY Prevent Breast Cancer is encouraging women to come forward and be more ‘breast aware’, with a specially decorated pink information bus taking to the streets of Manchester this week.
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Prevent Breast Cancer’s ‘BooBee’ bus campaign, in partnership with Stagecoach and Alexander Dennis, will see the bus touring the city this week.
Of the 55,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, just under 20,000 of these cancers are detected via screening.
For every 200 women that are screened, one life is saved, meaning that early screening and diagnosis has the potential to save around 1,300 lives each year.
The BooBee bus will provide women with information on checking your breasts, symptoms, the current screening process in light of the pandemic, and also encourage women to not ignore screening invitations.
Nikki Barraclough, executive director at Prevent Breast Cancer, said:
“Even before the coronavirus crisis, many women were missing screening appointments, so it is vital that we raise awareness of the importance of screening, especially in the areas where we know that uptake has fallen more than others.
“Now, perhaps more than ever is a crucial time for raising awareness of signs, symptoms and screening and encouraging women to seek relevant professional medical support where it is needed.
“Our message to women is do not ignore your breast screening invitation, and if you have any symptoms, speak to your GP.”
Over the past four months, it’s estimated that there have been 107,000 fewer screening referrals compared to the same period last year, according to a recent report published by Breast Cancer Now.
Throughout the week commencing 12 October, the bus was stationed at locations including Wythenshawe town centre, Longsight Market, and Eastlands.
This week, the bus will again visit Longsight Market and Eastlands, as well as Gorton Tesco, Manchester Fort Retail Park and Oldham town centre.
Margo Cornish, Prevent Breast Cancer patron and cancer charity campaigner, who was instrumental in arranging the bus, said:
“I thought long and hard about what I could do to support Prevent Breast Cancer during such difficult times, and when I found out the bus was available, I realised that we had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of women across Greater Manchester – we hope the BooBee bus will help do just that.”
Prevent Breast Cancer charity ambassadors and patrons will also be joined by Answer Cancer champions at several of the bus locations.
Answer Cancer is the Greater Manchester Screening and Engagement Programme. Its aim is to provide coordinated cancer screening prevention and screening awareness programmes across Greater Manchester.