NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which covers surgeries in Pickering, Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Ampleforth – is supporting a national breast cancer campaign targeting women aged 70 and over.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England with about 41,500 women diagnosed each year, of which about 13,500 – a third – are aged 70 and over.

The campaign, which urges women to see their GP or mention it during a home visit if they notice any changes in their breasts, is being launched by Be Clear on Cancer, a cancer awareness scheme led by Public Health England, working in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS England.

Dr Mark Hayes, chief clinical officer of Vale of York CCG, said: “Should you have any concerns, it is important that you contact your doctor straight away. A trip to your doctor’s surgery could save your life. Diagnosing breast cancer early means treatment is more likely to be successful.

“You’re not wasting anyone’s time and it’s much better to be sure, if only to put your mind at rest.

“If a friend or relative says they have any possible symptoms, insist they see their doctor.”

Possible signs of breast cancer include:

• A lump in your breast or armpit;

• Nipple changes;

• Changes to the skin of your breast;

• Changes in the shape or size of your breast;

• Pain in your breast or armpit.

The campaign runs until March 16.