Breast Cancer Awareness at Future Directions

20th October 2017 |



October has been  Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. 

Today marks the Wear it Pink Fundraising day for Breast Cancer.  What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and at Future Directions it is an opportunity for staff and people we support to learn more, be aware and ask the questions we may normally not always highlight.

Women in the UK are routinely screened between the ages of 50 and 65 in line with the national breast screening programme as this is the age at which the risk of breast cancer is greatest. NHS (2008) Glover and Ayub (2010) in a report for the National Learning disabilities Observatory studying deaths of people with learning disabilities without a specific condition died on average at 75 years of age, whereas people with diagnosed conditions such as Downs Syndrome on average die at the age of 65.  Therefore given that evidence, women with learning disabilities are living to an age at which they should be screened and have added factors, the lower incidence of breast cancer among learning disability population and low percentage of deaths attributed to cancer may be indicative of a failure to have access to screening.

As part of the Health Action Planning process at Future Directions CIC, the people we support and their staff need to be vigilant around Breast Awareness therefore it is important:

Staff are aware of and know what signs to look for and how to report changes without delay.
The people we support are supported and encouraged to check their own breasts regularly following education from their Practice Nurse and/or obtaining information leaflets –  Your breasts, your health - supporting People with Learning Disabilites (BCC163).  Reassuring the person you support that most breast changes are not cancer.
People with learning disabilities are breast aware with the support of their staff. People should feel confident and safe about checking their breasts and to seek help if they are worried.







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