Supporting women with learning disabilities during breast cancer diagnosis in Ireland
Evidence & Practice    

Supporting women with learning disabilities during breast cancer diagnosis in Ireland

Sophie Nelson Nursing student (intellectual disability), Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Carey Eileen Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland orcid.org/0000-0002-9626-4857

As women grow older, they are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. Evidence suggests that more breast examinations are being carried out, yet the low incidence of women with a learning disability attending mammogram examinations is a cause of concern. This article provides an overview of breast cancer and offers possible reasons for this low attendance. It also describes the vital role of the learning disability nurse in supporting a woman who has learning disabilities with breast screening, investigative and diagnostic procedures, and the diagnosis of breast cancer. Recommendations on how to increase the number of women with learning disabilities attending mammogram examinations include preparation beforehand, classes to teach breast self-examination and the awareness of the healthcare professional carrying out the mammogram.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2016.e1777

Correspondence

14153513@studentmail.ul.ie

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 29 June 2016

Accepted: 19 August 2016

Published online: 22 November 2016