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New cancer centre wants to save more lives with specialist breast screening

Gareth Kirk, Action Cancer Chief Executive, Gloria Hunniford, charity patron and Ashley Hurst, charity ambassador pictured in front of the 3D breast screening machine following the opening of the new £2.4m centre
Seanín Graham

A LEADING charity has opened a new £2.4 million centre in Belfast offering the UK's first 3D digital breast cancer screening service.

Action Cancer, which already ready provides free testing to 10,000 women in Northern Ireland each year, say the more sophisticated technology will lead to an increased number of cancers being picked up.

Gloria Hunniford, who lost her daughter 41-year-old daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer in 2004, officially opened the facility in Windsor Avenue yesterday which will also house a "therapeutic" unit.

"I have been involved with Action Cancer for over 40 years and have always admired the work it carries out," said Ms Hunniford, who is the charity's patron.

"The stark reality is that everyone knows someone affected by a cancer diagnosis, and this new centre will save, support or reassure local people now and in the years to come."

Counselling, acupuncture, reflexology, physiotherapy and scar therapy will be among the free therapies offered to patients and their families, including children.

It is estimated that by 2020 one in two people will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime.

"We have witnessed a year-on-year increased demand for our services," said Action Cancer chief executive Gareth Kirk.

"We outgrew our old building and our new facility means that we can now offer more services to more people."

The centre will also provide a dedicated room for men and women to receive health checks, including tests for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol, and body composition analysis.

Services are all free of charge. Appointments can now be booked online at www.actioncancer.org or by calling 028 9080 3344.

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