[Amoena Valetta top, £25]
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK with someone being diagnosed every 10 minutes. While there are a great many success stories about people who have beaten it, there are also still a lot of people, predominantly women, who are still losing the battle. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and so at Belle we would like to highlight how you to check your own breasts and what you can do to help raise money for breast cancer charities.
How To Check Your Breasts
There’s no right or wrong way to check your breasts. Try to get used to looking at and feeling your breasts regularly. Remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone.
What changes should I look and feel for?
• Changes in size or shape.
• Changes in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling.
• Inverted nipple.
• A lump or thickening of breast tissue.
• Redness or a rash on the skin/around the nipple.
• Discharge from one or both nipples.
• Constant pain in breast or armpit.
• Swelling in armpit/around collarbone.
• The biggest risk factor, after gender, is increasing age – 80 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.
• More people are being diagnosed with breast cancer but survival rates are improving – probably as a result of improved treatment and earlier detection.
• Breast cancer also affects men, but it is rare – around 300 men are diagnosed each year.
• 50,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed cancer each year in the UK.
• Just over 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year.
• Breast cancer is the second biggest cause of death from cancer for women in the UK, after lung cancer.
• There are an estimated 550,000 people living in the UK today who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer.
• In women under the age of 35, breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer.
There are many ways that you can do your bit to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
Shop To Help
One way to offer your support is to buy a ‘pink’ product where a percentage of the sale price goes to breast cancer charities. We have picked some of our top buys here but with so many retailers involved, helping a number of Breast Cancer charities, keep your eyes peeled for a ‘pink’ purchase that is helping others too.
1. Limited Collection Grosgrain Basque, £30 from Marks & Spencer.
2. Elemis Think Pink beauty kit, £29.90, available from leading department stores, salons, spas and online at www.timetospa.co.uk
3. Pink Archie Grand Shopaholic Notebook, £9.95, available from www.sujiivana.co.uk.
4. Russian Doll Doorstop , £7.99 from Cancer Research UK
5. Makieno long sleeve dress, £125 from Coast.
6. Rok The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity Boot, £49.95, from Belstane.
7. Le Creuset Strawberry Tea Collection. prices range from £5.00 – £50.00, available from Le Creuset stores nationwide and online at www.lecreuset.co.uk
8. Pink Roberts Revival DAB Radio, £149.99 from Against Breast Cancer.
Throughout October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can get involved with Pink Fridays. It is easy to do and can include anything from a tea break in the office with pink food and drinks, to a pink pamper party with your mates.
Why not host a pink pamper night for the girls (and boys!) at your home – try pink make-up, manicures or face masks and bake some pink cupcakes.
‘I’ve been an ambassador for Breast Cancer Care for nearly seven years now and I’m so excited about hosting my own Pink Friday this October,’ TV presenter Lisa Snowdon says. ‘It’s the best excuse ever to get my girlies together for a laugh and a chat while knowing we are making a real difference. By holding a Pink Friday pamper party or selling some pink cupcakes (my personal favourites!) in your office, you will help to ensure Breast Cancer Care can be there for each and every one of them. So come on ladies, let’s do it!”
To register for a free Pink Fridays fundraising kit, full of party ideas, cupcake recipes and fundraising tips visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/pinkfridays or call 0870 164 9422. For further ideas visit www.breakthrough.org.uk