Breast Awareness

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2006 National Women's Conference
26 October 2005

Conference notes with pride the work which has been undertaken by UNISON’s women’s organisation in campaigning on the issue of breast cancer awareness, access to services and the causes and prevention of breast cancer.

Conferences agrees that it is essential for world class breast cancer services, provided by the National Health Service, to be available to all women.

Conference further notes that breast awareness is the first step in health promotion for women of all ages, and that women should be aware of the current guidance, as follows:

1)for all women breast checks are best done once a month just after menstruation (period). If past the menopause, checks are best carried out on the same day each month;

2)changes to be looked for when you examine the breast by touch or sight are: changes including lumpy or thick areas within the breasts; changes in size, shape or the nipple;

3)other signs include a rash around the nipple, puckering, dimpling or discharge. The armpit and around the collarbone also need to be checked;

4)any changes can then be checked out by your general practitioner (GP) or breast clinic. Remember, if in doubt, seek help;

5)once a woman reaches the age of 50, she will be invited to participate in a breast cancer screening programme including a mammogram. It is important that women are aware of this and do attend once invited.

To facilitate breast checks in the bath or shower, we call upon the National Women’s Committee to:

a)investigate the possibility of producing a laminated diagrammatical chart on breast examination for use in the bathroom or shower;

b)name the card The Citty Card in memory of Citty Finlayson, a UNISON activist and member of the National Women’s Committee and National Executive Council, who fought long and hard against malignancy;

c)report back to National Women’s Conference 2007.