IWA Business Award winner, Dr Shikha Pitalia is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and here’s why
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A worldwide, annual campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer and to promote the importance of regular Breast Screening.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with over 55,000 new cases every year. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime but more than 50% of women say they don’t know the early signs of the disease.
Dr Shihka Pitalia, our 2019 Business Award winner is the co-founder and director of North West based Private Healthcare business, Pall Mall. She has a huge personal passion to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by using Pall Mall’s services and experts to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer and promote regular breast screening.
As an NHS GP of over 30 years, Shihka has seen first-hand the consequence of not knowing the signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer, she said: “I have been supporting women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer for many years, and in my years working as a GP I have seen that breast cancer can affect any woman, at any age.
“The symptoms can vary for every person and are not always obvious. I’ve seen women presenting with the obvious signifiers of breast cancer such as a lump in the breast, but I’ve also had women who have had little to no symptoms at all such as a nipple inversion, or a rash.”
Mammograms, also known as Breast Screening, don’t prevent breast cancer, but they can save lives by allowing a diagnosis to be made as early as possible. Whilst women aged over 50 are invited to attend a Mammogram every three years by the NHS, there are many women below that age that are being diagnosed too late.
Dr Pitalia continues, “Although huge advances have been made in technology to treat breast cancer, prevention is always better than cure, so I urge women to get to know their breasts, regularly check for changes and to stay on top of breast screening by ensuring they attend their free NHS breast screening when contacted.
“Sadly, Breast Cancer can occur at a much younger age too, so if you are aged 35-50 or if you’re over 50 but would like to be screened more regularly than every three years, as other countries in the world do offer, you can book a private screening at any time.”
Pall Mall was started as a private healthcare business by Dr Pitalia and her husband, Sanjay, 13 years ago to enable people to access medical services that were less readily available on the NHS, or as an option for patients who wanted to access services quicker at reasonable prices.
This year Pall Mall is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is looking at working together with Cancer Research UK to explore ways of how to increase awareness further and raise all important funds to aid treatment.
Pall Mall has created an educational video with one of its GPs, Dr Vaidya showing women how they can check their own breasts at home which you can watch here: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOUdNAdFIvA&t=15s).
Between 5th October and Friday 23rd December 2022 Pall Mall has an offer on its Mammogram service, discounted from £320 to £199, for anyone aged over 35 who are concerned about symptoms. Alternatively, for over 35’s with no breast problems, their private GPs offer an initial free of charge telephone consultation.
Just call 03300 584 455 to enquire and quote the code ‘BREASTSCREENING’.