As a person let’s be honest we are all scared of the “C word” and by that I mean cancer. There are so many different forms of cancer out there and we have talked about a lot of them. However, although there are a lot of charities that focus on breast cancer I personally feel it tends to get looked over by the media.

So here are the facts:

Breast cancer is not one single disease – there are several types of breast cancer. It can be diagnosed at different stages and can grow at different rates. This means that people can have different treatments, depending on what will work best for them.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Of these about 350 are men. The biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are getting older, being female and, for a few, having a family history of the disease.

It is worth noting that over 80% of breast cancers occur in women who are over the age of 50. Nearly half of all cases are diagnosed in people in the 50-69 year age group. 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime – it also means that 7 out of 8 women won’t develop breast cancer.

Today I was joined by Dr Debashish Ghosh a Consultant Breast & Oncoplastic Surgeon who practices privately but is based with his NHS practice in the Royal Free Hospital.

I was curious about mammograms, I’ve never had one but have heard about the pain factor that happens when women go for them. He emphasised the need for women especially those over 50 to go for their mammograms. In his experience, many women from the South Asian community have the tendency to avoid the subject and are embarrassed to talk about it and even come forward for their test.

The age range for the screening programme is being extended to 47-73 by the end of 2016 in England. Going for breast screening will not prevent breast cancer from developing, but it may find a breast cancer sooner – before it can be felt.

Dr Ghosh said that often in cancer cases the pain was not just experienced by the patient but their families and there were plenty of support groups out there to help those who had been diagnosed with cancer.

He spoke to various callers and highlighted the service of “reconstructive surgery” for those who had lost their breast(s) due to the cancer.

It seems reasonable to conclude after today’s episode that breast cancer was about raising awareness on the subject and ensuring more women went for their screenings and actually spoke about it to their daughters, sisters and mothers to detect it before it became too late.