THE number of women regularly checking their breasts for possible signs of cancerous problems seriously decreased in 2017 and Breast Cancer Now wants the message got over that this simple way of alerting a person of any developments simply can save lives.

BCN Fife ambassador, Arlene Russell, also told Cowdenbeath Rotary Club on Thursday that the ‘checking’ aspect was just as important for men too as 80 die each year from breast cancer.

Arlene explained that she became interested in the work of breast cancer research after her mother-in-law contracted the disease and since then she has lost friends through the condition.

That made her determined to play some role in helping the charity fight breast cancer and after spending a lot of time raising money, some £7,000 in five years, she was asked to become an ambassador and get out and put the story across of how important self checking is to finding the condition developing early and also the importance of raising money to back all the research that is going on.

Said Arlene: “4,600 women and 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and early detection can make a huge difference to helping the sufferer survive.

“So the statistics released towards the end of the year that 51 per cent of Scottish woman are not regularly checking their breasts was a big concern.

“It is so important to detect the disease in the very early stages so that treatment can begin to tackle it and how it can give the sufferer the chance to beat it and with the treatments that are being developed more and more are successfully fighting it.”

Breast Cancer Now is committed to finding new treatments for breast cancer and supports 21 scientists searching for even better ways of tackling the disease.

Added Arlene: “Breast Cancer Now needs to raise funds to maintain the pace of discovery of new methods of fighting the disease and that is why the support that Cowdenbeath Rotary Club gives is so important.

“All the fundraising that goes on each year is vital to the cause and the belief of the charity is that by 2050 breast cancer can be beaten and that people will no longer be dying through it.”

The Cowdenbeath Rotarians were impressed with the information Arlene was able to give them and are certain to support BCN in 2018.