Cancer Research UK advice after Angelina Jolie revealed she has had a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer:
Actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie has revealed she has undergone a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
Christine talks candidly about her fight against breast cancer and why this year's Race for Life is so important.
There are calls for women in Hull to take up vital breast screening checks, which save hundreds of lives every year - after new figures revealed that one in three fail to turn up for appointments.
A mobile clinic is being used in an attempt to encourage women who are eligible for the checks in the East of the city to respond to invitations, by offering the service closer to home. Fiona Dwyer reports.
The charity HER breast friends (Hull and East Riding Breast Friends) supports people affected by cancer and is run entirely by volunteers. To find out more about them and their work, click** here.**
Mobile breast cancer screening units have been launched to make it easier for women to be tested for the disease.
Around a third of women in the city ignore invitations to free screenings. It is hoped the new facility will encourage more women to attend tests.
Women in East Yorkshire will be offered breast screening closer to home. New figures show a quarter of those invited miss their appointment.
Thousands of patients are expected to be seen in a mobile unit this year.
It is being described as a revolution in breast cancer treatment - an injection which dramatically reduces the time that patients must spend in hospital.
Until now, women prescribed the drug Herceptin have received it via a drip, which is time consuming and can be painful. But now they have the alternative of a five minute injection after trials at St James's and Cookridge hospitals in Leeds. Helen Ford reports.
Angelina's openness in talking about her own experience and her decision to have surgery raises crucial awareness of breast cancer and its genetic risk.
Deciding whether to have preventative surgery is a heart-rending decision for women like Angelina but we know it's a vital way of saving lives.
– Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign
This is a stark reminder of how much more research we need to do to give women more knowledge, choice and life-saving options to reduce their risk.
If you are at all concerned that you may have an inherited mutation in your family and want further advice, your GP will be able to provide more information and help.
Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy after doctors calculated she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer as a carrier of the BRCA1 gene.
- Around 1 in 20 breast cancers is partly caused by an inherited gene fault and the BRCA1 gene is just one of these.
- The BRCA1 gene helps to repair damage to DNA. When a mutated gene is passed from parent to child, all the breasts' cells carry this mutation.
- Women with a faulty gene have a 50 to 80% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime.
- BRCA2 and TP53 genes are also associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
- Genetic tests are available to women with a high risk of having changes in these genes.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said Angelina Jolie is a "a brave lady" who would be "an inspiration to many" after revealing that she had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
Mr Hague who visited refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Jolie in March, as part of a campaign to highlight the problem of mass rape in conflict areas, added:
"She is a courageous lady and a very professional lady. She's done a lot of work with me in recent months."
"She gave no sign that she was undergoing such treatment and I think she's a very brave lady, not only to carry on with her work so well during such treatment, but also to write about it now and talk about it. I think that she's a brave lady and will be an inspiration to many."
- A mastectomy is an operation to remove the breast mainly as a treatment for cancer or to reduce the risk of it developing.
- In 2010-2011, over 18,000 mastectomies were carried out in England.
- Risk-reducing (prophylactic) mastectomies are carried out on women who have family history of breast cancer.
- Certain genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Preventative mastectomies can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 90% in people at a high risk of developing the condition.
- Some women opt for artificial breast reconstruction after the procedure.
- Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK. That’s one person every 10 minutes.
- Just under 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, and account for around a third of all new cancers diagnosed in women.
- An estimated 550,000 people living in the UK today have had a diagnosis of breast cancer.
- More people are being diagnosed with breast cancer but survival rates are improving.