LET'S TALK BOOBS -IT'S BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and like for so many of you, too many people close to me that I love have been affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer is such a nasty disease, however, with early detection and diagnosis our chance of successful treatment is so much higher. So let's all get our boobs checked out and remind and teach our daughters, sisters, mums, girlfriends as well as ourselves to do regular self-examinations.
See this link to Cancer Research UK for tips for what to look our for when doing self-examinations, which include:
- a new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
- a change in size, shape or feel of your breast
- skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
- fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breast feeding
- changes in the position of the nipple
These symptoms are most often caused by other medical conditions, but if you or a loved one experience any of them, go see your doctor.
According to Cancer Research UK, Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 55,200 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. That is around 150 people a day, of which the vast majority are women, which according to the latest figures were 54.700 women diagnosed with breast cancer alone in the year of 2017.
Because of close family history of breast cancer and because this nasty C affects so many women, the prevention and raising awareness of breast cancer is a cause very close to my heart. Having what feels like a weird lump in your breast is very scary, your mind goes places you don't like out of fear, so access to early as well as regular screening for breast cancer is so vital for early detection and treatment, as well as for ruling out that you have breast cancer.
However, with the corona virus pandemic, Breast Cancer Now has revealed an alarming increase of around half a million women who haven’t been screened since services restarted in summer 2020. They estimate that around 1,480,000 fewer women in the UK had breast screening between March 2020 and May 2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels. As a consequence thereof, the charity estimates that nearly 12,000 people in the UK could have been living with undiagnosed breast cancer at the end of May 2021, due to the impact of the pandemic on breast screening services and due to fewer women being referred to specialists with possible symptoms of the breast cancer since March 2020.
To help raise awareness and as a small token in support of the work of Breast Cancer Now, I have decided to donate £10 from each pair of the Perfect Hoops sold throughout the Breast Cancer Awareness Months of October 2021, and who knows, wearing the hoops might help remind you, or the ones you gift them to, to do your self-examination. The earrings comes wrapped in a small pink jewellery pouch.
In addition to the research and care provided by Breast Cancer Now, the charity also undertakes advocacy towards to the UK government with regards to proving more funding and clear policies that allow for the NHS to prevent, diagnose and treat breast cancer.
Currently, Breast Cancer now is calling on Governments and the NHS across the UK to urgently set out how promised additional investment will be used to ensure all women living with undiagnosed breast cancer are quickly identified and treated, giving them the best chance of survival. Governments across the UK are also called upon to invest in a strategic, fully funded long-term plan for the imaging and diagnostic workforce to ensure that prompt breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is guaranteed both now and in the future.
Now, let's save the boobs and the health of our loved ones and ourselves, and start with a self-examination today and follow up with a screening if needed.