Being ‘breast aware’
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Being ‘breast aware’

Lisa Poynor Community Learning Disability Nurse, CTPLD, Surrey Oaklands Mental Health and Learning Disability NHS Trust

Lisa Poynor describes a successful health promotion teaching pack that was specifically designed to meet the needs of women with learning disabilities

Breast cancer has been a major cause of death from cancer among women for some years (TCR 1997). However, the development and promotion of breast screening and the need for awareness of the risks has produced a significant drop in the number of deaths from breast cancer in the general population. Women have been encouraged to examine their breasts, be aware of changes in them, and to seek medical help if they have any concerns. It is believed that more than 90 per cent of breast lumps are found by women themselves and promptness in finding lumps, mostly through breast awareness, is essential as survival rates in breast cancer are directly related to disease stage at diagnosis (Austoker 1994, 1997, CRC 1999, Brett and Austoker 1999, DoH 1998a, RCN 1995a, Saunders and Baum 1998).

Learning Disability Practice. 6, 4, 10-14. doi: 10.7748/ldp2003.

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