Take the test - it could end up saving your life

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Lung, bowel and breast cancers diagnosed at stage 1 in NHS Borders are below the national average (25.3%) according to new figures released this week.

However, at 24.3% of cancers diagnosed at stage 1 it’s an improvement from the previous year (22.8%) for the region.

Dr Tim Patterson, joint director for public health for the Scottish Borders said: “NHS Borders continues to work hard to promote the identification of signs and symptoms of cancer and to encourage the public to seek help at an early stage.

“It has the highest uptake for colorectal screening of any mainland board in Scotland and the Borders uptake for breast cancer screening is also high.

“The Borders has a higher uptake of colorectal screening across all deprivation categories for both men and women compared to Scotland as a whole.”

The health board continues to improve its screening programmes which help detect cancers as early as possible but they need people to play their part - to attend screening appointments and to see their GP if they notice any changes in their body.

“We are conducting targeted awareness campaigns with key groups and communities using health literacy tools and pioneering a workplace screening promotion campaign in public sector organisations such as our own health service sites,” added Dr Patterson.

“In one GP practice we are using an assertive outreach approach to promote breast screening and results from this will inform the development of a toolkit for wider use. We have also conducted a feasibility study to investigate the potential for a mobile screening unit that can provide accessible relevant screening information and support tailored to target groups and communities across Borders.

“I encourage everyone to attend their screening appointments and participate in screening programmes.”