Elaine C Smith breast cancer campaign 'a success'

Actress Elaine C Smith in breast cancer advert
Image caption Actress Elaine C Smith featured in the campaign adverts

The number of women seeking medical advice about breast cancer has increased by 50%, following an advertising campaign featuring Elaine C Smith.

The actress was part of a series of adverts which showed images of breasts with visible evidence of cancer.

In the three months after the campaign started in September 2012, 21,000 women went to their GP for advice.

The same period the previous year saw 14,000 consultations.

James Jopling, the Scotland director at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "It is welcome news that women have responded to this campaign by going to their GPs to get any possible breast cancer symptoms checked out.

"We know that early detection can save lives as the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the chance of successful treatment.

"Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women in Scotland with nearly 4,500 women diagnosed every year."

The campaign, which used the slogan "lumps aren't the only sign of breast cancer", was part of the Scottish government's £30m Detect Cancer Early drive.

Its target is to increase the early diagnosis of cancer by 25%.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "The earlier a cancer is diagnosed the greater the chance it can be treated successfully and that is why it is so important that women know how to spot the signs of breast cancer early on.

"These figures show that our bold breast cancer campaign has been effective in getting people talking about breast cancer, and in encouraging women to contact their GP if they are worried about changes in their breasts."

Cancer survivor

The figures were released as Mr Neil visited the Breast Clinic at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

He met breast cancer survivor Angela Moran.

Now 53, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46, but after undergoing chemotherapy and a mastectomy, has now been clear of the disease for six years.

After noticing a lump, she made an appointment with her GP.

She said: "I remember sitting in the waiting room and worrying that I was wasting the doctor's time. However the doctor was very supportive and confirmed that there was indeed a lump and acted right away to get me referred.

"I'm always amazed by the amount of women who don't regularly check their breasts or go for mammograms. These simple steps could save your life.

"If you do find something that you're worried about it is always best to face up to it - no matter how frightened you are. "

Cancer waiting times figures published on the NHS Scotland website show that between October and December 2012, 95.8 per cent of patients started treatment within 62 days of urgent referral with suspicion of cancer.

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