Action Cancer releases Breast Screening Appointments in the run up to International Women’s Day

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For every 1,000 screenings, Action Cancer detects six breast cancers

To celebrate International Women’s Day, leading NI cancer charity Action Cancer has released breast screening appointments and is encouraging women to book their screening slot online.

The theme for International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March 2024 (IWD 2024) is, ‘Inspire Inclusion’. International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8, yet the global campaign theme continues all year long to encourage action.

Action Cancer offers 8,000 breast screening appointments per year to women aged 40-49 and over 70 — those who fall outside the NHS screening age range (50 – 70).  The free life-saving service is available both at Action Cancer House in Belfast and on board the Big Bus mobile screening unit (kindly supported by SuperValu and Centra) which travels to over 200 locations each year.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Action Cancer has teamed up with local online car insurance company to urge local women to take action and participate in the ‘Breast Friends’ fundraising campaign in order to support the running cost of the breast screening service.

With no regular government funding Action Cancer raises funds to support screenings through the Breast Friends fundraising campaign, with cash generated then matched by

The breast screening service is free to the user but each appointment costs the charity £120. The Breast Friends campaign encourages groups of friends to organise a catch up and raise much needed funds at the same time. You could hold a coffee morning, pamper day or spring garden party, at home, in your local salon, gym or anywhere of your choosing on International Women’s Day or during the month of March.

Women in 2024 lead such busy lives, often juggling work commitments, looking after family members and organising the household. Personal health and wellbeing can drop to the bottom of the priority list.  Action Cancer is appealing to women to take time out of their busy schedules and put their own health first by booking a free breast screening appointment. It will only take five minutes and the appointment itself will take no longer than half an hour. Action Cancer also runs evening and weekend clinics to offer maximum flexibility to its clients.

Action Cancer’s Senior Radiographer, Éadaoin Smith, explains why women in the 40-49 and over 70 age groups should proactively book a screening: “Our programme screens women with no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. For every 1,000 breast screenings we detect six cancers. Early detection makes a massive difference to treatment outcomes.  Appointments are available up to six weeks in advance and new appointments are released regularly. You can book online at or by phone on 028 9080 3344.”

Action Cancer’s Senior Radiographer, Éadaoin Smith (centre) is pictured with Alex Todd from its4women (left) and Breast Friends Fundraiser and Social Media Influencer Francesca McKee (right).

Speaking about the partnership Alex Todd, Head of Quality Group for MCL InsureTech Ltd. which includes the brand its4women says:

“With financial matching from Its4women the Breast Friends campaign has raised £234,438 since 2019 enabling 2,179 breast screenings for local women. Given Action Cancer detects six cancers for every 1,000 appointments, money raised from the campaign will have led to the detection of at least thirteen cancers.  These women would not have been accessing a breast screening through another channel which is why this breast screening service is so important.

“Its4women is committed to working with Action Cancer to benefit as many women as possible, whether that is by booking an appointment for a potentially life-saving breast screening or matching all public fundraising up to a total value of £90,000 over three years.

“I’ve personally experienced the exceptional free service aboard the Big Bus. The efficiency was impressive, and the staff went above and beyond to make you feel comfortable. It offers a sense of reassurance for the majority, providing peace of mind. I strongly encourage local women to take advantage of this unique free service, unparalleled in the entire UK or Ireland.”

26-year-old Engineer, Francesca McKee, is originally from Magherafelt and runs Instagram pages @frans_travels and @ni_girlies. Living in Belfast, Francesca previously hosted a Belfast Girlies Afternoon Tea Event in Café Parisian in aid of the Breast Friends campaign. Francesca says:

“Breast cancer holds a special place in my heart, as my mother was diagnosed in her 40s. Thankfully, she’s now cancer-free and doing well. While I’m not yet eligible for Action Cancer’s breast screening service, I’m passionate about raising awareness for this invaluable service and emphasising the importance of self-checks for women of all ages.

“Our recent event successfully raised £4,000, and thanks to its4women’s matching funds, we reached a total of £8,000. It was fantastic to know that we doubled the impact of our fundraising efforts, allowing twice as many women to benefit from this crucial service.

“Looking ahead, I plan to organise another fundraiser in October 2024. I urge women of all ages to support this campaign and to spread the message to family and friends, particularly those in the 40-49 and 70+ age category. Together, we can make a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer.”

For more information on Action Cancer’s services, call 028 9080 3344 or visit

To get your free Breast Friends fundraising pack, please email [email protected]

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