Health bosses have created a new role to increase the uptake of breast screening.

Tracy Collard, the new cancer screening improvement lead, will head out and about to raise awareness of the importance of the national screening programme.

Her work will focus on Bolton, Bury, and Rochdale, with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust hosting the scheme locally.

All women registered with a GP aged between 50-71 are invited for a breast screening every three years, with women over 71 able to ask for a screening. Some women aged 47-73 will be invited as part of a trial.

Early diagnosis gives much better outcomes, with 98 per cent of those diagnosed with breast cancer at its earliest stage surviving the disease for more than five years, compared to just a quarter of those diagnosed at the latest stage.

Unfortunately, the uptake rate for screenings in these three areas is quite low, with just under three quarters of people accepting the invitation.

Only 29,977 women of the 40,926 people invited attended their screening.

Tracy said: "There are a number of reasons that women give for not attending, it can be anything from embarrassment to believing that they are not at risk if they don’t have symptoms or no-one in the family has previously had breast cancer.

"Some also worry about discomfort or fear of bad news. But the benefits far outweigh any reluctance to be screened.

"The screening programme is there for a reason – it saves lives."

The process is quick and carried out by female mammographers.

Only one in a hundred of women screened nationally is found to have breast cancer.

Tracy will be supporting GP practices to increase uptake as well as holding information stands and giving talks in various community locations.

Patients at Dr Uddin’s Practice, Halliwell Surgery, Al Fal Medical Group, Olive Family Practice, and Dr Sidda at Waters Meeting Health Centre are currently being called for screening. Contact your GP for more information.