People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre are urged to take up invitations to breast screening services as they could prove life-saving.

Routine screening services are fully operational on the Fylde Coast and health leaders have assured that it is safe to attend this quick but vital appointment if invited.

One in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. The risk increases with age, which is why all people between the ages of 50 to 70 who have breasts, due to either naturally occurring oestrogen or oestrogen hormone therapy are invited for screening every three years.

Dr Adam Janjua, a Fleetwood GP and chair of the Fylde Coast Cancer Alliance, said: “Routine breast screening services are now fully up and running. If you are due for your screening appointment you will receive an invitation letter in the post. The letter will give you a number to call so you can book an appointment that suits you.

“Breast screening can find early signs of cancer so I would urge everyone to attend their appointment when invited.”

Breast cancer can affect anyone with breasts, so some trans or non-binary people are also eligible for screening – talk to your GP or Gender Identity Clinic about this.

Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. In the meantime, if you’re worried about breast cancer symptoms such as a lump or an area of thickened tissue in the breast, or you notice that your breasts look or feel different, do not wait to be offered a screening appointment, talk to your GP.

Dr Janjua said: “We understand many people are anxious about coming in for any kind of assessments or treatments at the moment. But we have worked hard to put extra measures in place to keep everyone safe, such as staff wearing PPE and patients wearing a face covering. When you call to book your appointment, you can ask for more information about what to expect or any concerns you might have.

“If you have an appointment, it is important that you attend so that there are no delays to your care. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you should rearrange your appointment.”

Dr Neil Smith, primary care director and Cancer Research UK GP for Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance, said: “Breast cancer can affect you at any age, so it’s important to be ‘breast aware’ and check your breasts for lumps or a change in size or shape at least once a month. If you notice anything unusual, please don’t wait, contact your GP straight away.

“In most cases it won’t be cancer, but it’s best to get checked over because early diagnosis saves lives.”

Advice and support about cancer signs and symptoms