Julie Duane, Solicitor Advocate at CG Professional.
As you will be aware the month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Whilst we are all aware of the dreaded C-word, we all assume that it is never going to happen to us. However, statistics show that every 10 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK and therefore the purpose of the campaign is to encourage individuals to go for a medical check-up, as ultimately this may save their life.
What is the purpose of the campaign?
The campaign seeks to support and help those already affected by breast cancer by educating others on the importance of early detection and medical check-ups. Since launching in 2002, the charity has raised over £33m.
Statistics show that this is the second most common cancer and the aim of its campaign is eventually to try and eradicate it. Some of the ways people can show their support are via the “Wear it Pink” Campaign and by purchasing the pink ribbon badges.
How can the risk of breast cancer be reduced?
Whilst inevitably factors such as genetics and age cannot be avoided, there are several measures which individuals can take in order to try and reduce their risk and exposure, for example:
- eating healthily;
- exercising regularly;
- discussing the risks of using an oral contraceptive, or hormone replacement therapy; and
- reducing alcohol intake.
In terms of being aware of the symptoms, women should be mindful of any new lumps or masses in their breast tissue but also other abnormalities. This can include matters such as:
- skin swelling or redness;
- changing the breast shape;
- nipple discharge (other than in breast milk); and
- pain in/or on the breast.
Whilst these signs are not always indicative of breast cancer, by being mindful of them and seeking medical advice early, this possibility can be ruled out. Women should also ensure that they are seeking regular screenings and are recommended to start getting mammograms between the ages of 40-50 in order to reduce their exposure.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this article, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the CG team who would be more than happy to assist.