Cancer is something that effects everyone. Even if someone in your family hasn’t suffered with cancer, I’m sure many of you will know someone who you work with or are friends with that has been affected in some way. It is a disease that kills over 12,000 people in the UK alone each year and is the most common form of cancer. But just as the number of people being diagnosed with Breast Cancer is increasing, so are the survival rates. Breast cancer is rare during your teens and 20’s, the vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged 50 and over, but that doesn’t mean it is not important to be aware during your teens.
Whilst I was reading about Breast Cancer when researching for this article, I came across one question that was repeated on each page, ‘Do you check your breasts?’. Probably not as much as I should, I thought.
Whatever your age it is important to be breast aware, as this is a vital part of taking care of your health. It means getting to know your breasts, how they feel and what they look like and what is normal for you. You will then be more likely to notice unusual changes. Your breasts are always changing from puberty through adolescence, during pregnancy and then during menopause which is why its so important that you know what is normal for you and you learn to recognize a change.
There is no wrong or right way to check your breasts, but it is something that should be done regularly fit it in with your everyday routine, whether it is when your in the shower, getting dressed or applying body lotion. You must also remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and your collarbone.
If you do notice something unusual about your breasts, contact your GP as soon as possible. Don’t worry about making a fuss and remember that most changes are completely normal, but it is better to get it checked. You are entitled to ask to see a female Doctor, or have a Nurse sit in or if it helps, you can bring along a friend or family member with you. One of the reasons the survival rate is increasing is because cancer is being caught much quicker, therefore allowing treatment to happen sooner.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Restaurants, shops and fashion brands alike will all support Breast Cancer Research Charities, by releasing special menus and products with a percentage of profits going straight to the charities.
Breast Cancer Care largely relies on donations and support from us and this October there are many ways that you can get involved, raise awareness and donate:
Turn your Fridays pink – Dress pink, eat pink, party pink or work pink. How you turn your Friday pink is completely up to you! Get your free kit full of pink fundraising goodies and join our biggest fundraising event of the year.
Do a spot of shopping – Spot the household names going pink in ASDA, from Jaffa Cake bars to Lucozade, all to support Tickled Pink. And don’t miss an exclusive bag designed by Julien Macdonald.
There is a full list of whats pink on the high street here – http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/news/media-centre/breast-cancer-awareness-month-press-pack/whats-high-street
Get your running shoes on – Breast Cancer Care is the official charity for the ShockAbsorber WomenOnly Run. Take up the challenge and join hundreds of women tackling 5k or 10k in London’s Richmond Park on 20 October.
October 13th is Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Secondary breast cancer means the cells from the primary breast cancer have spread to other parts of the body (often bones, lungs and liver) which means the cancer can no longer be cured. To mark the day Breast Cancer Care have released a campaign ‘A Day In The Life’ which shows the need for better support of people living with uncertainty and hopes to clear up questions and misconceptions. These videos and more information about secondary breast cancer can be found here – www.breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary.
For more information visit the Breast Cancer Care website – http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk – where you can also make a donation. Or if you are worried and need someone to talk to call the helpline on 0808 800 6000
All statistics and information was taken from the Breast Cancer Care Website and were correct at the time of release.