Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Wear It Pink
October is breast cancer awareness month
October could not have come early enough this year to raise vital and life-saving funds to continue breast cancer research, screening and treatment for people all over the UK.
No women are exempt from developing breast cancer and if they do, it can cause heartache and concern to what is going to happen to them. It was once thought that the disease was something that developed in middle aged to much older women, but as has been shown, it can affect anyone from teens to much older citizens. Even men can get breast cancer!
Why regular screening is so important
Regular screening is a very important process, so that any changes can be identified in the early stages when a better outcome can be expected. Ongoing treatment is also important to ensure the best ‘bounce back’ from the disease. So many people are involved in making this happen, and volunteers, fundraisers and advisors are always sought after. Can you help?
Coronavirus caused a major setback in the screening and recovery processes. It has been in the media that over 1 million women in the UK alone are still awaiting their screening, which is well overdue. Time is of the essence with any cancer, but be assured that the various trusts, doctors and specialists are fighting hard to catch up with the backlog. Unless there is a high chance of you contracting the disease, i.e., hereditary, previous cancer or other good reasons, screening is only done every 2 years, so funds are important to help speed up the process.
Once, as a woman, you hit 70, programmed screening will stop and you will not be contacted with an appointment as you are up until the age of 70 years old. You can still have them free of charge by contacting your local unit or availing yourself of the mobile units that visit all over the country (COVID-19 permitting).
Keeping a check on your body
You can help yourself by regularly checking your own breasts to note any changes. These changes can appear in the form of lumps, puckering around the nipples, thickening or swelling within part of the breast or indeed, underarms and armpits. You may also see redness or flaking skin around the nipple. An inverted nipple is also a potential sign. However, do remember that some of these signs can be innocent, so the best thing to do is to first consult your GP.
Checking your breasts is important, so take the chance when you are lying down, or having a shower perhaps. There are leaflets in doctors surgeries and posters throughout the UK, demonstrating how to do this.
The annual campaign in October is one of the strongest campaigns in the UK. So many people support it by organising walks, coffee and cake mornings, afternoon tea, jumble sales, you name it – often with a ‘pink’ theme. Pink has been the colour adopted by the charities for some years and is reflected in the pink ribbons which many people wear during October. Buying a pink ribbon is one of the ways you can help raise funds, so ‘Wear It Pink’.
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