GMB doctor Sarah Jarvis opens up about breast cancer scare live on air

Good Morning Britain doctor Sarah Jarvis has revealed that she had a breast cancer scare earlier this year.

The 57-year-old GP, who is currently replacing Dr Hilary Jones on the ITV breakfast show, opened up about her "scary experience" to hosts Sean Fletcher and Charlotte Hawkins during Thursday's show.

Sarah mentioned it amid the news that research in the UK has suggested lowering the screening age from 50, or 47, to 40 could save more lives a year.

She encouraged women to enquire about screenings if they show any symptoms and attend them when invited.

The media personality shared her own experience from just months ago to urge others to attend.

Sarah revealed the screenings are currently thought to "save 1,300 lives a year by picking up cancer at an earlier stage", with it "more likely to be treated successfully".

She explained: "I've had a breast cancer scare earlier this year as a result of a screening.

"That's a small price to pay if it is going to save my life.

"I would absolutely recommend everyone to have it."

When asked if she was ok by Charlotte, she went on: "Yes, and the people were absolutely incredible. I cannot say how wonderful the team were, I got called back.

"I had my screening because I have screenings for everything, I just assumed I'd done it.

"Just before Christmas I got some quiet time, I got my dentist check done, I got my car MOT, I had my cervical screening, I had my breast screening, job done.

"I didn't expect, because you don’t, to get a letter back.

"It was really scary but within two weeks I'd gone back. I'd had an amazing follow up and had the all clear on the NHS."

She added: "If you have symptoms go in. While we know screenings were paused for some things in the height of the pandemic, it is absolutely now coming back on track."

She then told viewers experiencing any symptoms to get in touch with their GP or local screening centres.

Sarah went on to share her concerns with lowering the screening age, telling the hosts: "By extending it earlier to the age of 40 rather than 50 or 47 as in some parts of England, we could save another 400 women a year.

"But starting at this earlier stage will pick up a lot more cases that are so-called false positives, so a lot more women will be scared.

"You have to screen six times as many women as you do in their 50s or 60s in order to pick up one case, and the question that is difficult to answer is whether those cancers would have been slow growing and picked up anyway by the later screening."

Dr Jarvis was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year's honours list for services to general practice and public understanding of health.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV

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