Letter from Lucille Opie:
I am compelled to write because I feel so strongly about the subject. On Monday I went to the mobile Primrose Clinic in the Crescent car park to have a mammogram. Whilst waiting I read a notice on the wall stating that no less than 20% of the women from the Bude area did not turn up in October for their appointment. This is a really a shocking statistic!
Only today I heard of a Bude lady who had her scan in October. A small tumour was found which has now been removed. If that lady had not attended the clinic the tumour would have grown; she would then have had to endure chemotherapy, with all that entails, and it may well have cost the lady her life!
We are so fortunate to have an NHS that enables us to have this screening for free at a local mobile clinic. Every woman is invited to have a mammogram every three years from the age of 50 until her 71st birthday. After that, it is up to each woman to contact the Primrose Clinic when she sees or hears the mobile unit has arrived in town to ask for an appointment which she is entitled to for the rest of life because early detection of cancer can save lives.
The screening takes only a few minutes, is non-invasive and pain-free; the staff are always friendly and helpful and offer information about how women can regularly check themselves at home.
We should do well to remember also that the cost to the NHS for our screening is £55, but the cost of chemotherapy, etc? Well, it is prohibitive.