HSL and Queen’s Ladies Rugby team up to boost breast cancer awareness

Supplier of diagnostic equipment Hospital Services Limited (HSL) is sponsoring Queen’s University Belfast’s Ladies Rugby club in a partnership aimed at raising awareness of early detection of breast cancer in young women. HSL branding will feature on the rugby kits.

Representatives from HSL and Queen’s launched the partnership by discussing the prevalence of breast cancer as the leading cancer among women aged up to 34 years, the importance of early detection as well as emerging research indicating that regular exercise can reduce a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer by as much as a third.

“We are proud to be sponsoring Queen’s Ladies Rugby as they fly the flag for breast health awareness among their peers,” said HSL commercial and finance director Graham Stewart. “As the supplier of the majority of mammography systems in breast screening clinics across Ireland, many being the Hologic 3Dimensions system, we understand acutely the importance of reliable and frequent breast screening for early and accurate diagnosis in order to increase treatment success rates.

“We are keen to help young women abolish the stigma that mammograms are painful or embarrassing experiences and encourage regular self-examinations. We are happy to join the players at Queen’s to help spread the word and encourage women to attend their scheduled mammograms when more advanced screening becomes appropriate.”

HSL and Queen's Ladies Rugby partnership
HSL commercial and finance director Graham Stewart (centre) joins Queen’s Rugby development officer David Chambers and Queen’s University Belfast head of sport Liz McLaughlin, with Queen’s Ladies Rugby players Diane Ramsay and Shannon Buller.

Hologic technologies are designed for accuracy and efficiency of diagnostics and patient comfort, with curved compression paddles that better fit the shape of the breast and offer a more comfortable mammogram experience for patients. The systems are supported by artificial intelligence-based products that provide breast density information to the reporting radiologist and a 3DQuorum range of products designed to make reporting easier and improve the time required to complete the patient report.

Discussing her own health experience while at university, and resulting campaign to increase breast health awareness, Queen’s player Megan Stewart said: “Upon discovery of a lump in my second year, I was faced with the realisation that many young women – including myself – are under-educated when it comes to what to look for, how to perform self-examinations, and who to contact when something seems abnormal.

“I am lucky that in my case the growth was benign, but this experience has driven me to encourage breast cancer awareness among young women. When I set up my awareness campaign Breast ‘n’ Test, I conducted a survey of university women and was shocked to learn that 92 per cent of students surveyed had never been to or been offered the chance to visit a clinic that teaches cancer awareness. I also discovered that 78 per cent of students do not know how to properly check themselves, meaning that anomalies that could potentially be caught earlier are perhaps going missed.”

Lead picture: HSL commercial and finance director Graham Stewart joins Queen’s Ladies Rugby players Shannon Buller, captain Rachael McIlroy, Diane Ramsay and breast cancer awareness campaigner Megan Stewart.

Published on page 18 of the January 2021 issue of RAD Magazine.

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