If you’re a woman over 50, the combination of checking your breasts yourself and attending your regular breast screening appointments gives you the best chance of being diagnosed early - and surviving breast cancer.

In the last round of screening for Western Isles women which took place three years ago only 4 out of 5 women took up the opportunity of being screened.  

NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, Dr Maggie Watts said: “Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in Western Isles women but it’s also very treatable when caught early.  Taking up your breast screening appointment is important. The appointment takes only a few minutes. It involves having X-ray images taken of your breasts (mammograms).”

If you are due to attend for the first time or are apprehensive, NHS Western Isles is recommending you have a look at the Health Scotland video, in which actress Elaine C. Smith has her breast screening appointment. The video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOplwRPhq1o.

It’s important to remember that:

1 in 9 women in Scotland will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

You are more 5 times more likely to survive breast cancer if it is caught early.

Breast screening saves around 130 lives every year in Scotland. It only takes about 10 minutes and could save your life.

Breast screening detects tiny cancers, when they are often less advanced and easier to treat.

Look out for your appointment as the breast screening bus will be visiting Harris, Uists and Barra:

Harris - Harris Inn car park (next to Harris Hub): 18th May until 30th May

Uists - Uist & Barra Hospital car park: 12th June until 14th July

Barra - Castlebay Pier car park: 5th June until 8th June

If you are eligible and do not receive an appointment within these dates, please contact your GP practice and let them know.