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Bupa Cromwell named a specialist centre for breast cancer

A quarter of women in London have never checked for signs of the disease

Bupa has extended its network of specialist centres for breast cancer to include Bupa Cromwell Hospital.

It comes after a poll by the health insurer found one in four women in London have never checked their breasts for signs of cancer or cannot remember the last time they did. Of those who do perform self-exams, these only taking place once every 53 days on average.

Women in London reported more difficulties accessing medical help for breast concerns than others around the country, with nearly one in five saying it is hard to get a GP appointment compared to one in seven nationally. Others said they are too busy or unable to take time off work.

If faced with a symptom, more than two in five (42%) delay visiting a doctor for medical help, with 23% saying they would wait for up to two weeks and one in 10 waiting for up to a month.

The poll also found just under a third of women in London (29%) stated that they would be more inclined to seek help for a breast-related concern if waiting times for appointments and results were shorter. 

Bupa’s specialist centres for breast cancer offer Bupa UK Insurance customers an appointment with a consultant within two working days of calling its Cancer Direct Access service. All initial diagnostic tests are completed in one appointment. 

If treatment is needed, it will be provided within 31 days of calling for the first appointment.

Julia Ross, head of cancer care for Bupa UK Insurance, said: “Sometimes it can be hard to remember all of the cancer symptoms we’re supposed to be looking out for, and this coupled with difficulties accessing medical help can mean that our health slips down the list of priorities. But early detection is so important to improving outcomes – so I’d urge women in London to make time to get to know what is normal for their breasts to enable them to identify any changes.”