No increase in breast cancer referrals in Worcestershire despite Eastenders storyline

No increase in breast cancer referrals in Worcestershire despite Eastenders storyline

No increase in breast cancer referrals in Worcestershire despite Eastenders storyline

First published in Local by

SOAP storylines about cancer seem to have no influence on attitudes to the disease in Worcestershire.

Although it was reported this week breast cancer referrals at Watford General Hospital had increased by a third following a storyline in Eastenders which saw character Carol Jackson develop the disease, the same has not been reflected in Worcestershire.

In January 215 women with suspected breast cancer were referred to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs radiotherapy services in the county - fluctuating between 198 and 241 in the first seven months of the year, with 217 seen in July.

Superintendent radiographer at the trust Debbie Fox said: “We have not seen an increase in requests for self-referral appointments through the breast screening programme in recent months nor have we seen an increase in the uptake rates for routine screening invitations for women aged between 50 and 70.

"The number of patients being referred from their GPs has increased slightly since last year, but has remained at a similar rate for the past few months.

“The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is likely to be to treated.

"Being breast aware simply means getting to know how your breasts normally look and feel at different times of the month.

"If you notice a change that isn't normal for you, talk it over with your GP and ask for a referral to the breast clinic.”

Although NHS-mandated targets state at least 96 per cent of cancer patients have their first treatment within 31 days of their diagnosis, the trust missed this target in May and June, with almost eight per cent waiting longer than a month.

This been put this down to a range of factors including an increase in the amount of patients aged 80 and over, who may have a number of other conditions complicating their treatment, patients choosing to delay treatment during school breaks and Bank Holidays as well as a lack of beds.

Anyone concerned they may be at risk of breast cancer should speak to their GP in the first instance.

Comments (3)

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5:08pm Wed 20 Aug 14

BC10ax says...

This is a very serious issue.

Should we expect it to be influenced by soaps?
This is a very serious issue. Should we expect it to be influenced by soaps? BC10ax
  • Score: -3

6:09pm Wed 20 Aug 14

CJH says...

BC10ax wrote:
This is a very serious issue.

Should we expect it to be influenced by soaps?
It is very serious, and therefore anything that highlights the issue should be welcomed. I don't care whether it's in a soap, on the back of a bus ticket or painted across the Malvern Hills. Awareness is vital.
[quote][p][bold]BC10ax[/bold] wrote: This is a very serious issue. Should we expect it to be influenced by soaps?[/p][/quote]It is very serious, and therefore anything that highlights the issue should be welcomed. I don't care whether it's in a soap, on the back of a bus ticket or painted across the Malvern Hills. Awareness is vital. CJH
  • Score: 4

3:11pm Wed 27 Aug 14

BC10ax says...

Of course it is.

I just don't see why adults would expect a telly programme to produce a massive result in this case.

A relatively small proportion of the population watches any given programme, even popular soaps.

And there is plenty of awareness raising work done in general.

In short, it's great that there is awareness, and if the soap mention helps, great.

But it seems odd to expect that mention in a programme would be so decisive.
Of course it is. I just don't see why adults would expect a telly programme to produce a massive result in this case. A relatively small proportion of the population watches any given programme, even popular soaps. And there is plenty of awareness raising work done in general. In short, it's great that there is awareness, and if the soap mention helps, great. But it seems odd to expect that mention in a programme would be so decisive. BC10ax
  • Score: -1

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