One hundred and seventy five women in their forties are making use of the Action Cancer’s Big Bus screening service in Derry, it’s been revealed.
The charity has just conducted an evaluation of the service and has found that 80 per cent of women using the screening service were aged between 40 and 49.
NHS screening is not offered until a woman is 50 years of age or older.
Action Cancer is the only charity in Northern Ireland providing breast screening services here, both at its headquarters in Belfast and on the Big Bus, which is sponsored by retail group SuperValu.
The Big Bus screens women aged 40-49 and over 70 and uses the latest digital technology to take X-ray images, servicing on average 2,900 women per year. 766 Derry women have used the service since its inception.
A further 2,800 women have been screened for breast cancer since March 2010 – 266 in the Derry Council area.
The Big Bus also provides health checks and advice on cancer prevention, with almost seven thousand people using this service in the first three and a half years.
One thousand women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Northern Ireland each year and around three hundred die from the disease. The Action Cancer Big Bus is detecting an average of eighteen new breast cancers a year.
To make a booking for the Big Bus to visit community group or company contact Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344 or use the dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org