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Breast cancer – do you know the signs and symptoms

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when we talk about the causes of breast cancer, what symptoms to look out for and what support is available.

The first symptom of breast cancer that women notice is a lump or area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should see a GP if you notice any of the following:

  • A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast
  • A change in size or shape of one or both breasts
  • A discharge from either nipple
  • A lump or swelling in your armpit
  • A change in the look or feel of your skin, such a puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
  • A rash or itchy skin or redness around or on your nipple
  • A change in the appearance of your nipple

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

The first symptoms of breast cancer in men can include:

  • A lump in the breast
  • The nipple turning inwards
  • Fluid oozing from the nipple
  • A sore or rash around the nipple
  • The nipple or surrounding skin becoming hard, red or swollen
  • Small bumps in the armpit

You can find more information at:

Breast Cancer Now – https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/signs-symptoms-breast-cancer

Cancer Research UK- https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/symptoms

Macmillan Cancer Support – https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/breast-cancer/signs-and-symptoms-of-breast-cancer

Check for Cancer – https://www.check4cancer.com

nhs.ukhttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms/

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Go Sober for October

Why not go Sober for October with Macmillan Cancer Support. Some of the main benefits of going sober or cutting down are:

  • A clearer head
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Save money

The NHS Better Health Campaign have a free ‘Drink Free Days’ app, allowing you to track your alcohol intake, view tips on cutting down and receive reminders when you need them most. The app is available on the app store or Google Play.

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Stoptober – there’s never been a better time to quit

Stoptober begins on 1st October and theres never been a better time to quit!

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your own health and the health of the people around you. It’s never too late to quit.

You’ll start seeing the benefits immediately, nit just for your health but also your finances.

Find out more about quitting smoking and the benefits it can have at https://www.blf.org.uk/take-action/campaign-with-us/stoptober or https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

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Happy Hearts – Together we can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke during Covid-19

Health services, local authorities, charities and other partners across Cheshire and Merseyside are working together to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Happy Hearts website is aimed at helping you to reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack by giving you lots of information and tips on keeping your heart happy. The website shares local, practical information on:

  • how to live healthily and stay well
  • conditions that increase the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, such as
    • atrial fibrillation
    • high blood pressure
    • high cholesterol
  • how and where you can get your numbers checked
  • how you can help to manage and control these conditions to lower your CVD risk

Visit the Cheshire and Merseyside Happy Hearts website to find out more.

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No more suicide – support for children & young people

Many people, including children and young people experience times of stress or worry during their lives. If you need help now or if you’re worried about someone else, there are support services available. Visit no-more.co.uk for more information and a list of services available.

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Helpline to enquire about surgery wait times

Did you know Mid Cheshire has a helpline for patients and GPs to enquire about waiting times for surgery, hospital consultation or treatment? 

The call centre can be contacted on 01270 826400 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday-Friday. 

By contacting the call centre, GPs and patients are able to receive updated information about the approximate waiting times for hospital consultation, treatment or surgery, and are also able to request expedite of surgery and appointments due to worsening symptoms.

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999 Service Launched in British Sign Language

An official 999 service has now been launched in British Sign Language.

Using a dedicated smartphone APP or the 999 BSL website, callers will be connected to a 999 call handler via a BSL interpreter.

The service can be accessed at 999bsl.co.uk – you can also download the iOS or Android app there.

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Have you got the NHS App?

The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. Account verification is done centrally and you don’t need a password from your GP surgery.

You can now use the app to show your Covid vaccination status.

You can use the NHS App to:

  • get advice about coronavirus – get information about coronavirus and find out what to do if you think you have it.
  • order repeat prescriptions – see your available medicines, request a new repeat prescription and choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions to be sent to.
  • book appointments – search for, book and cancel appointments at your GP surgery. See details of your upcoming and past appointments.
  • get health advice – search trusted NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments. You can also answer questions to get instant advice and medical help near you.
  • view your health record – securely access your GP health record to see information like your allergies and your current and past medicines. If your GP surgery has given you access to your detailed medical record, you can also see information like test results and details of your consultations.
  • register to be an organ donor – choose to donate some or all your organs and check your registered decision.
  • find out how the NHS uses your data – choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning.

Download the app now from the App Store or Google Play, or find out more information at NHS App – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

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Serious Shortage Protocol for HRT gels

The NHSBSA have released new Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for HRT products.

The SSPs apply to Oestrogel pump gel, Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets and Lenzetto spray.

Pharmacies are now allowed to switch patients to patches if they are unable to obtain a supply of the gels.

Pharmacies are also allowed to restrict the quantities to 3 months’ supply without contacting the prescriber.

Local pharmacies have been contacted to ensure they are aware of the SSPs.

Please note that you do not need to contact your GP, your Pharmacist will be able to look into this for you.