Senator launches Breast Cancer Awareness month

North Louth Senator Erin McGreehan has led a campaign at the Oireachtas calling on the Department of Health to roll out an increased awareness campaign around breast health.

enator McGreehan raised the issue in the Seanad last week, at the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

She led a group of Oireachtas colleagues, along with Dublin Councillor, Norma Costelloe, in donning pink for the event.

 “Breast cancer is a shared cancer in Ireland. More than 3,600 women are diagnosed with it each year,” she explained.

“The Department of Health can act now and empower women and men to check themselves to be breast aware. We know that early detection saves lives and a complete population wide awareness programme will change outcomes. I ask that the Department funds an increased awareness campaign by running national adverts on TV, social media and in print, reminding people to check for changes in their breasts and to show people how to check for changes.

“I would like to thank Cllr Teresa Costello who I am working with on this campaign and as a breast cancer survivor herself she is an incredible wealth of knowledge and an example of sheer determination.”

Senator McGreehan additional, “I am an advocate for increased screening however this is a decision for the National Screening Advisory Committee (NSAC). As part of the campaign we will be submitting a proposal to the NSAC to recommend that the Department of Health lower the age of screening to 40.”

In response to Senator McGreehan’s Seanad contribution, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly’s, statement outlined that as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month the National Screening Service and the HSE have planned an extensive media campaign to highlight meaningful details about screening during COVID-19, breast cancer prevention and symptom awareness. The Minister’s statement noted also that €10m additional funding was provided to the HSE for Cancer Screening in 2021.

These important new developments will help increase capacity and permit screening of individuals who had to defer their appointments because of COVID-19. This includes two new mobile screening units for BreastCheck planned for Donegal and Dublin.

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