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Breast health - Pink Power a major triumph

The INMO’s Pink Power breast check campaign has received positive feedback from members from across the country

The INMO’s free breast health assessment programme, which was launched to thousands of its income protection scheme members in June, has received excellent feedback from those who have availed of the service. Education and early detection are at the forefront of this huge initiative, entitled ‘Pink Power’, which is being carried out in partnership with Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd, Irish Life and the Mater Private Hospital.

The Pink Power campaign is the first of its kind in the trade union movement. Its objective is to make real strides in the fight against breast cancer. It aims to promote awareness and early detection of the disease through a free education session and breast health assessment. It is exclusive to the thousands of members in the INMO’s income protection scheme.

Since its launch, Pink Power appointments have taken place in Dublin, Cork, Bantry, Cavan, Drogheda, Galway and Castlebar, with approximately 1,700 nurses and midwives attending. The next appointments will take place in Tullamore, Kilkenny and Waterford. The interest shown from members in these areas has been impressive.

Pink Power statistics
Location Invites sent Risk assessment forms received Appointments attended Patients for follow up/scans
Dublin 2282 1139 (50%) 1008 185 (19%)
Cork/Bantry 819 416 (50%) 369 15 (4%)
Cavan/Drogheda 389 211 (54%) 208 13
Galway/Castlebar 633 283 (45%) January N/A
Fast track - 56 56 34

Feedback from Dublin and Cork
The positive responses from participating INMO members have surpassed expectations. Feedback has been very encouraging and has included thank-you notes, emails and calls.

The following survey results are based on a sample of 344 women, who completed an online questionnaire at www.surveymonkey.ie in November and December 2012:

  • 77% of those surveyed had not received a comprehensive breast health assessment before attending their Pink Power appointment
  • 90% of Pink Power attendees felt that the appointment lived up to their expectations
  • 41% of members did not self-check before Pink Power
  • 64% rated the initiative as “excellent”
  • 33% rated the initiative as “very good”. Comments from attendees, included:
  • “Well done on being proactive and making women think about their health. It would be worth doing again in the future as it could save lives. It would be good to get stats on lumps and cancers found to highlight the importance of breast checks”
  • “It even went beyond my expectations, they found a lump on my left breast although it was benign... The prompt attention I received was exemplary! I will always be thankful to Pink Power”
  • “I would consider myself as low-risk and this was sort of confirmed by the appointment, but it is still important to have had the assessment and it has heightened my awareness”
  • “Was aware of a lump for years and had never been considered for screening. Pink Power was efficient and direct. They allayed my fears and thankfully all is well”
  • “I’m 29 and for younger women it can be hard, apart from a GP, to get a breast check. It encourages younger women to check earlier for signs of breast cancer instead of waiting for a mammogram at the age of 60-65”
  • “Prevention is better than cure, [breast cancer] occurs at every age and is very treatable when caught early”
  • “I feel it is worthwhile as when I am doing my own checks, I may not be doing it right... Breast cancer is so common nowadays.

” The INMO will publish the final results of the Pink Power campaign, when it ends in late April. If one life can be saved by this initiative, it will have been worthwhile.

Coming to a location near you
Pink Power is soon to be rolled out in Sligo and Letterkenny. INMO Income Protection Scheme members whose workplaces (according to Cornmarket records) are in counties Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal will receive an invite in February. The closing date to return risk assessment forms is February 28. Appointments will then be made in March, for assessments to take place in April.

Members of the INMO Income Protection Scheme, who are under 50 years, will receive an invitation when Pink Power is visiting their area. Those who do not want to wait, or missed the opportunity to attend Pink Power when it was in their area, can contact the Mater Private Hospital directly to arrange an appointment in Dublin, Tel: 01 885 8357. This is known as the ‘fast track’ option. This option will close on April 30.

Members over 50 will not automatically receive an invite as the national breast screening programme ‘BreastCheck’ is currently available to them. Nevertheless, those who qualify for ‘BreastCheck’ who wish to attend a Pink Power appointment should email info@cornmarket.ie

Blue Power
The aim of the INMO’s Blue Power campaign is to make a prostate and testicular assessment available to all male INMO income protection scheme members. The rollout for Blue Power is quite different from Pink Power as appointments are only set if deemed necessary by the prostate care nurse or physician after reviewing each individual risk assessment form.

Blue Power statistics
Invites sent Risk assessment forms received Appointments attended
435 41 17

Male members of the INMO Income Protection Scheme can avail of Blue Power until April 30. Tel: 01 885 8357 for more details.

Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of the Irish Life Group Ltd. Irish Life Assurance plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Telephone calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes.

Breast health - Pink Power a major triumph
February 2013 Vol 21 (1)
February 2013 Vol 21 (1)
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie