SPECIALISTS are encouraging women to check for signs of breast cancer after more than 300 women across the district were diagnosed with the disease last year.

Health promotion specialists from the Pennine Breast Screening Unit, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, were at Bradford Royal Infirmary earlier this week to host an awareness event encouraging women to check themselves regularly for signs of cancer.

Julie Hodgins from the Pennine Unit said women often think they know what the signs of breast cancer are until it comes to checking their own breasts, when they are not so sure.

“Is that a lump I can feel? Should I be worried about the dimpled skin there? What exactly am I feeling for? What are the signs?” she said

Those were the concerns that led to the creation of the Know Your Lemons campaign, which started in 2003 and has now reached more than 7.3 million people on Facebook alone.

On Monday, staff from the breast screening unit were in the BRI foyer area using lemons to help men and women know what to look out for when they check themselves every month.

Miss Hodgins said: “The egg box of lemons is a playful, friendly image which might help women overcome their fear of the disease.

“The campaign has now been used to educate people in the US, Spain, Turkey and Lebanon – and translated into 16 different languages so it definitely works!

“Being aware of what your breasts feel like could be a lifesaver if something irregular pops up that you need to get checked out.”

The Foundation Trust provides breast screening to all eligible women across Bradford, Airedale, Calderdale, Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Screening is usually offered by invitation once every three years to women aged from 47 to 73, who are registered with a GP. Appointments are either at the Pennine Breast Imaging Department at St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford, or at one of the mobile screening units.

Sadie Greenwood, who also works at the Pennine Unit, said it was vital to take up any offer of an appointment for screening, as it could save your life. “If breast cancer is picked up early enough it is very treatable,” she said.

The team has also joined Facebook so people can keep up to date with the latest news and see which areas the team’s mobile screening units are visiting. Last year 335 women across the district were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Screening sessions in Wrose end this week but anyone who wants to reschedule an appointment can call the Pennine Breast Unit on 01274 365521. The Shipley unit will be parked up at the Nuffield gym, Fred Atkinson Way, off Otley Road, until the spring. To see what to expect at breast screening go to wommen.org.uk/blog/2017/04/12/your-mammogram-appointment/