Local women and frontline workers have been joining forces with a breast screening service to take part in an awareness training session at a Bradford community centre.

The course at the Thornbury Centre, in Leeds Old Road, was run by Pennine Breast Screening Service and designed to spread the breast cancer awareness message.

It involved sharing knowledge and skills with healthcare workers, community workers, volunteers and people with an interest in women’s health.

Latest public health statistics have revealed that more than a quarter of woman in Bradford are missing their breast screening appointment and subsequently could be putting their lives at risk.

Women aged 50 to 70 are automatically invited for breast screening every three years.

Lynn Clark, health promotion specialist, said: “Breast screening doesn’t take long and can show changes well before symptoms appear.

“Most women who attend breast screening get the ‘all clear’ but if breast cancer is detected early it is more treatable and the outcome for women can be much better.”

“The risk of breast cancer increases with age and one in three women who get breast cancer are aged over 70.”

Women over 70 years old can contact the breast screening unit direct for a screening appointment if they wish.

“Women should also be breast aware and check their breasts for changes which may include a lump or thickening in the breast or armpit, nipple or changes in the skin texture like puckering and dimpling, or shape or size of the breast.

“Pain in your breast or armpit may be another sign but any changes should be reported to your doctor without delay.”

Mrs Clark added: “We hope that by attending this training more women will have the knowledge and skills to spread the message in the community about the value of breast screening and the importance of checking for breast changes.”

To find out more contact the Pennine Breast Screening Service on (01274) 365521/22/23. Pennine Breast Screening is part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme based at Bradford's St Luke’s Hospital.