Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

14.59 16 Nov 2020


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Ciara Kelly is urging women to use the BreastCheck services now that they're up and running again.

The Newstalk Breakfast presenter recorded the experience of having her first mammogram - saying it's "much less daunting and less painful" than she thought.

It comes as breast cancer screening resumes nationwide after being on pause for over seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ciara visited the BreastCheck clinic on Merrion Road in Dublin, where radiographer Aoife conducted the presenter's mammogram.

'Much less daunting than I thought' - Ciara Kelly has a mammogram on air

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Speaking during the procedure, Ciara said: "I am recording topless, and I am about to put my breasts into a mammogram machine. This is my first mammogram... I haven't had one previously.

"There is a bit of a pinch, there is a bit of discomfort... but it's not pain as you would maybe know it.

"As someone who has had cervical smears, it's not as bad as that."

Following the procedure, Ciara urged other women due a mammogram to make sure they go and get one.

BreastCheck

Professor Anne O’Doherty, Lead Clinical Director for BreastCheck Ireland, says women between the ages of 50 and 69 are entitled to a mammogram every two years.

She explained: "A mammogram is an x-ray of the breasts, and it can pick up cancers probably about seven per 1,000... somewhere around 1,200 cancers a year are picked up by the breast screening programme.

"We hope that by earlier detection we can save around 20% of women that would normally die by cancer this programme.

"It's a very quick test, and it really is a very minor inconvenience to come in and have it."

Professor O'Doherty said it's important to note the limitations of a screening test.

She said: "No matter how good we are or how hard we try, we do not have the ability to detect every breast cancer. That's a significant drawback, but we have to be honest with women."

However, she said it's vital that women come in for their tests as that is ultimately what will save lives.

She noted: "The one thing I would like to say to Irish women... the Irish breast screening programme is internationally accredited.

"If you come for a mammogram in Donegal, Dublin, Cork or Galway... you will get the same quality of services as if you were in Brussels, Paris or Oslo."

She also urged all women to be 'breast aware', and to be aware - in the shower or the bath - of what is normal for them.


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