A WIRRAL GP is urging women to take up the offer of breast screening in a bid to raise awareness of the disease that kills 12,000 women each year.

Figures released by Breast Cancer Campaign show that 26% of people questioned realised that the UK’s breast cancer five year survival rate is worse than the European average.

In fact, the UK lags far behind many of our European neighbours including France, Italy and Germany.

Breast Cancer Campaign has launched its “Spread the Word” campaign in response to the frightening figures in the hope of raising awareness of the national screening programme and the need to improve survival rates for British women.

In the 12 month period from April last year to March, a total of 259 Wirral patients diagnosed with breast cancer visited a hospital on one or more occasions.

Dr Pete Naylor, acting chair of NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, said the effect of breast cancer on those living with the disease could not be underestimated and urged local women to accept their screening appointment.

More women are surviving breast cancer due to better public awareness and screening, faster diagnosis and improved treatments.

Dr Naylor said: “The NHS offers screening to save lives from breast cancer at it does this by finding breast cancers at an early stage, when they are too small to see or feel.

“It is also important to remember that breast screening is for people without symptoms.

“If you are concerned about your symptoms or otherwise worried about the risks of cancer, please talk to your GP.”

The NHS currently provides free breast screening every three years for all women aged between 50 and 70 but this is now being gradually expanded to include women aged 47 to 73.