October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I always thought “awareness” was on odd way to put it. I thought that everyone knows about breast cancer, so who needs to be made aware? It is not about awareness of its existence, but of the signs and things we can all do to stay alert to any changes we may see, for our own bodies.
As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, it is paramount to me that we do the checks and the monitoring, because it can be so easily missed. For my mum, hers was found at a mammogram trial for under 50’s women, completely chosen at random. Had that not happened, she wouldn’t be here today.
First, you need to know how to properly check your breasts:
- Look for abnormalities in the shape, colour and size.
- Feel them. Do you notice any lumps or changes?
- Do the same check with your arms raised, stood up, lying down.
- Spend time doing this. Don’t rush the process.
There are numerous brands running Breast Cancer Awareness month campaigns and fundraisers, with proceeds going to charities which support the cause and help fight the disease. The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a number of ways you can get involved:
- Host your own fundraiser (COVID safe of course).
- Share your story.
- Listen to the stories of those affected physically, and the families of those.
- Donate where possible or volunteer your time.
- Grab yourself a pink ribbon and wear it proudly.
Breast cancer is scary, of course. Being proactive and normalising a routine doesn’t have to be.