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Saved; Supported; Reassured: Action Cancer Celebrates 40 Years

by • September 28, 2017 • FeaturedComments (0)1970

Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity, Action Cancer is celebrating 40 years of its unique life-saving breast screening service.  Their 40th anniversary celebrations will coincide with the launch of their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) campaign which runs throughout the month of October.

Action Cancer is the only charity in the UK and Ireland to offer free breast screening to asymptomatic women aged 40 – 49 and over 70, those who fall outside the NHS screening age range (50 – 70). The unique and free screening is on offer at Action Cancer House in Belfast and on board the charity’s Big Bus, supported by SuperValu NI and its independent retailers which travels to 235 locations throughout Northern Ireland every year.

In their 40 years of breast screening Action Cancer has screened 150,000 women and detected 800 breast cancers, saving the lives of hundreds of local women, and positively impacted and supported the thousands of families, friends and wider circle of these women.

Joanna Currie, Consultant Radiologist at Action Cancer comments: “This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the 40 years of our unique breast screening service and to recognise the 800 women who have had their breast cancer detected at Action Cancer, the many lives saved; and also the tens of thousands of women who have been reassured by our screening service.  The peace of mind it provides is immeasurable.”

Approximately 1,280 women are diagnosed with and 300 die from breast cancer in Northern Ireland every year1. For every 1,000 women screened by Action Cancer, an average of six cancers are detected. The charity’s digital mammography equipment can detect cancer in its early stages when treatment can be more successful. The vast majority of women who come for screening will receive clear results and will be given peace of mind.

Louise Skelton, an Action Cancer Ambassador and breast cancer survivor who will feature in a brand new TV advertisement launching this September is testament to just how important early detection is and how valuable the screening is for women aged 40-49 and 70+, “I am so fortunate at 46 I was able to have a breast screening at Action Cancer. It saved my life.”

The BCAM campaign has been supported by Gordons Chemists over the last ten years, helping to spread the key message to female audiences that ‘early detection saves lives’.

Fiona McQuillan of Gordons Chemists said: Fiona McQuillan, Pharmacist for Gordons Chemists said: “Our relationship with Action Cancer literally saves lives.  We believe very strongly in the service Action Cancer provides and the lives that are being saved in the communities we serve, so we’re proud to continue to help spread this important and potentially life-saving health message.”

Women aged 40-49 and 70 plus can book their free breast screening appointment either online at or by calling 028 9080 3344.

Action Cancer also offers free support services to people impacted by any type of cancer- helping the individual diagnosed, their family members and friends or carers. These services include: one to one counselling; complementary therapy (which incorporates pain and symptom control therapies) (both from age 5+); life coaching; acupuncture; group support programme (Positive Living Programme) and peer mentoring

Caption: Fiona McQuillan (Gordons Chemists) Joanna Currie (Action Cancer) and Louise Skelton (Ambassador) launch this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at Malone House, Belfast. The BCAM campaign, running throughout October, seeks to encourage women aged 40-49 and 70+ to avail of a free breast screening with Action Cancer.

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