The annual lunch was first held 20 years ago. This was so that existing patients could share their experiences and provide additional support to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer away from the clinical setting of a hospital.
In 1986 there were 10 patients who came along to the lunch. This year over 140 people met up in the Stockman’s Lounge at the Livestock Market to share their experiences.
Breast cancer is a complex disease that can affect both men and women with around 35,000 woman in the UK diagnosed with the disease each year. Breast cancer can affect women at any age and one in nine women will get breast cancer at some time in their life. In additon, approximately 300 men in the UK get breast cancer each year, although these are more likely to be men who are over 50.
Anyone diagnosed with breast cancer may need either surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy or possibly a combination of several of these treatments. They will also need continuing support throughout their treatment and follow up care.
Specialist nurse Shirley Holmes said: " "At the hospital we provide a whole range of support and information through the whole course of treatment and beyond, yet someone with breast cancer can get enormous benefit from just talking to people who have been through a similar experience themselves."
"This really is a unique social event as it involves patients supporting others through what can be a truly traumatic and anxious time in their lives. This is such a positive and cheerful event for new and existing patients with many still coming back since the first lunch in 1986." Ends
Notes to Editors:
Around 35,000 woman in the UK are diagnosed with the disease each year. Approximately 300 men in the UK get breast cancer each year.
There are a number of normal changes that occur to breast tissue as part of the ageing process. While changes may be normal or non-cancerous, others may not, so it is important that both men and women check the breast tissue regularly so that they aware of any changes when they happen.
People should look for changes in size or shape of the breast. They should be aware if nipples start to discharge, start to turn in or develop a rash. Look out for pain in one part of the breast or pain and swelling in the armpit.
Lastly follow the five-point code:
- Know what is normal for you
- Know what changes to look and feel for
- Look and feel
- Report any changes to your GP without delay
- Attend routine breast screening if you are aged 50 or over.
If you would further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Tel: 01722 425170