Suffolk: Breast cancer cases on the rise but fewer die

MORE people in Suffolk are being diagnosed with breast cancer, but fewer are dying from the disease thanks to more women getting screened for the disease.

New figures from NHS Suffolk, the county’s primary care trust, reveal that in 2007 463 cases were registered compared with 519 in 2009 – a rise of 12 per cent.

In that time the number of deaths fell from 131 in 2007 to 117 in 2009 – a drop of 11pc.

Health bosses at NHS Suffolk told The Star the fall is in line with national trends, citing the successful screening programme in the county as a factor in tackling the disease.

Dr Paula Parvulescu, NHS Suffolk’s locum consultant in public health medicine, said: “Whilst the overall incidence of breast cancer has increased, the number of deaths from breast cancer in Suffolk has decreased, in line with national trends.

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“The reduction in deaths can be partly attributed to the success of our breast cancer screening programme, which has an uptake of 81.8pc, higher than the regional average.”

Dr Parvulescu urged any women called for screening not to ignore the letter and highlighted the importance of regularly checking your own breasts for changes.

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“By getting screened, women are more likely to be diagnosed earlier, increasing their chances of having more favourable outcomes,” she added. “All women aged 47 to 70 will be called for screening every three years and this invitation shouldn’t be ignored.

“It is also important for women to stay alert to any changes in appearance or shape in their breasts and visit their GP immediately if they notice anything different.”

n Have you been affected? Write to Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail health reporter

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