October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
Most of us see October as the month of Halloween but it is also recognised as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer has been the number one most common cancer in the UK since 1997 despite the fact that it is quite rare in men. 1 in 8 women will suffer from breast cancer at some stage in their life with the disease being more common in women over the age of 50. This means it is likely that a member of your family could potentially develop the disease, or may have already been diagnosed and going through treatment for breast cancer.
Most of us see October as the month of Halloween but it is also recognised as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast Cancer has been the number one most common cancer in the UK since 1997 despite the fact that it is quite rare in men. 1 in 8 women will suffer from breast cancer at some stage in their life with the disease being more common in women over the age of 50. This means it is likely that a member of your family could potentially develop the disease, or may have already been diagnosed and going through treatment for breast cancer. Statistics released in 2011 showed almost 50,000 women were affected by breast cancer and 349 men were also affected by the disease in that year.
These statistics show that raising awareness is a pressing issue in order to educate people on the signs and symptoms to ensure more cases are caught in the early stages and more money is raised for research. There are a number of ways to go about doing this such as online campaigns through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites which effectively raise awareness by trends catching on quick and donations reaching sky high. For example the Cancer Research UK #NoMakeupSelfie campaign raised a whopping £8m in just six days and had everybody talking about the big C. This brings us on to the next great way to raise awareness, word of mouth; yes the simple act of conversation. Although it may not primarily make any money, just talking about breast cancer can actively provoke people to start their own fundraisers and remind them to check for the signs.
Being educated on the signs and symptoms and checking for them regularly could make all the difference in the world with catching cancer early. Women should check themselves by looking at their breasts in the mirror with their hands by their side and feeling for any irregularities such as unusual swelling, lumps, redness, soreness or rashes. Then they should check for the same things with their arms raised in the air and the final check is to be done lying down. If you notice any of these signs you should contact your GP. Men need to also be made aware that breast cancer can also affect them and they should also regularly check themselves for the same symptoms.
General Practitioner with the 3fivetwo Group, Dr Lisa Neligan has helped many patients who have found an irregularity in their breasts. Dr Neligan said, “If a lump or symptom is caused by breast cancer, the earlier you have treatment, the more effective it will be. Therefore it is vital that women, and even men although much rarer, become more self-aware and get to know their own breasts and breast tissue. Discuss any changes from the norm, however small they may be, with your doctor. This could be lifesaving.”
With regards to Breast Cancer Awareness month, there are lots of things that you can do to help. These include simply donating, organising your own fundraiser or even participating in charity challenges and events.
This Friday men and women all over the UK will be participating in the fundraising campaign Wear It Pink. This is the 13th year of this campaign and each year it gets more popular and raises £2m towards world-class breast cancer research. So go ahead, get involved and look good doing it. For more information on this campaign visit the campaigns website www.wearitpink.org.
For more information you can also visit the Breast Cancer Care website by visiting www.breastcancercare.org.uk.
If you would like to book at appointment with Dr Lisa Neligan or another of our Private GPs at 3fivetwo Group, please call 0845 60 06 352 or email email@example.com for more information.
You can find out more about the Private GP service by clicking here.
Article by Emily Spackman McKee.