Women fear breast cancer check-ups

A range of emotions are playing a part in preventing women from going for a breast screening, new findings have shown.

Presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference in Liverpool, the study revealed that many females often feel fear, anxiety and embarrassment when attending screenings.

Researchers from the Gateshead Foundation Trust, also found that women skipped appointments through denial, believing that they wouldn’t develop cancer.

Julie Tucker of the group - whose aims include the running of first class hospitals and the offering of responsive and accessible services - said the results suggest extra effort must be made to combat low take-up of these screenings, adding:

"We must ensure that GPs, nurses and health professionals feel able to talk to women about the pros and cons of breast screening."

She added fear of the disease may be reduced once people begin to realise diagnosis is not a death sentence and survival rates are on the increase.

Dr Janet Reibstein, Chartered Psychologist, agreed that misconceptions about breast cancer had not been properly highlighted:

”Breast cancer's progress from being an almost inevitable killer to a treatable and in some cases curable illness has not percolated to the public well enough.

“The value of early detection is that it saves lives but that message needs more clarity for women to see screening as a routine part of wellness care.

“At present it is entirely understandable that screening is associated with deathly illness being detected unless a woman has mire sophisticated knowledge of breast cancer's treatment progress.”