Breast cancer awareness month takes place annually each October and is hosted by a number of charities across Ireland such as the Irish Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Ireland. As part of the awareness month, people across Ireland are invited to “Paint it Pink” and host fundraising events in support of breast cancer research and support services.
Every day in Ireland, 7 women get diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, there has been a 33% increase in the number of cases diagnosed within the last 10 years. Survival rates have increased slightly in recent years with approximately 85% of breast cancer patients living for 5 years or more after diagnosis. This has been achieved due to extensive research into breast cancer treatments. However, this still isn’t enough. Cancer research charities and institutions across the world are hoping to eradicate cancer completely. To do this, it is important to raise awareness of breast cancer and educate individuals on the ways in which they can help.
This October, women are encouraged to become aware breast aware. It is important that you carry out regular breast checks annually. These checks can be done by yourself in the comfort of your own home. Follow the steps below:
- Understand how your breasts normally look and feel
- Know what changes to check for (e.g. shape, size, skin puckering/dimpling/rash, swelling, lumps and constant pain)
- Look and feel for changes monthly
- Discuss any changes with your doctor immediately
- Attend routine breast screening services that are available to you over the age of 50
Unfortunately, women can get breast cancer no matter how healthy they are. However, there are a few lifestyle choices you can make to help protect yourself against breast cancer. These include maintaining a healthy weight, keeping active, refraining from smoking, limiting alcohol intake, breast feeding and breast screening.
So, make sure to get out this October and paint it pink for a wonderful cause. Let’s do our part and fight against cancer!