Breast Cancer Awareness is something many of us know about, have been affected by it, or know someone that has. With early detection of breast cancers, there is less need for treatment and it is more likely to be cured.
Although we lead such busy lives, it's easy to put our career, partner’s, children’s, and pet’s needs before our own. Here at the Morphbag HQ our philosophy of living a sustainable lifestyle includes self-care. Taking care of our health and checking our breasts often is so important.
According to Cancer Research UK, more than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage survive their disease for at least 5 years compared to around 15% for women diagnosed with the most advanced stage of the disease. So being aware can literally save lives - prevention is always better than the cure!
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This article, although written to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is a campaign that runs throughout October, we hope this article will encourage you to take care of your breasts all year round.
It is helpful to have these awareness months, as they remind us of important topics that we need to stay informed about. Let's remind our mothers, sisters, friends, work colleagues, and fitness pals to get themselves checked and to know why it's important.
Charities and resources to check and get involved with are:
- Wear it pink day is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK. Taking place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thousands of amazing people wear it pink in their communities, schools, or workplaces for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now.
- The Breast Cancer UK website lists the most common breast cancer questions answered, including how breast cancer develops, how common it is and how your hormones play a role in determining your level of risk.
Breast Cancer Check Ups & COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have feared contagion visiting a local health centre, and it has prevented them from getting their breasts checked.
Despite its importance, almost one million women in the UK have missed their breast screening due to Covid-19. Of these women, it is estimated that around 8,600 could have been living with undetected breast cancer.
We must try not to forget that the definition of 'health' goes beyond Covid-19 and that, in order for us to enjoy long and healthy lives, we must embed sustainable self-care into our routines. Checking our breasts is an absolute necessity and awareness months and campaigns are great reminders for us to prioritise our health and wellbeing.
Breast Cancer Awareness Tips
Knowing how crucial early diagnosis is, smear tests and breast scans are essential for us women and we should not let the fear of contracting Covid-19, or any other reasons prevent us from undergoing our regular health screenings.
Remember that breast cancer is complex, and many factors can play a role in whether or not you will get it, however we can be proactive and take precautionary measures such as:
- Regular exercise
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Have a low intake of saturated fat and alcohol
- And check our breasts regularly at home to detect any changes
*tips taken from the NHS website
Image credit: breastcancercare.org.uk
Try to make checking your breasts part of your daily routine. The Breast Cancer Care charity has provided this amazing illustration that shows you what and where to look out for during your own self-care check-ups.
Check your breasts for for:
- Changes to the skin
- Redness or rashes
- Changes to the nipple in its position or shape
- A liquid that comes from the nipple
- Pain in your breast or armpit
- Swelling in your armpit or around the collarbone
- A change in size or shape of your breast
If in any doubt, contact your GP immediately and get checked. Remember that the earliest detection leads to the best chances of successful treatments and a full recovery.
Other useful resources