Breast Cancer Awareness

Hey guys, October is a month full of awareness, from mental health day to stoptober, there are lots of great charities and campaigns to get involved with. The campaign that really stuck out for me was collaborating with Breast Cancer Care to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

Today is the Breast Cancer Care's Big Pink Day where people across the UK are raising money by holding Big Pink events — from cosy nights in to dress down days at work. Any event you fancy as long as it's pink! My family has been affected by cancer in the past and it is something I hold very close to my heart and as breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK with around 60,000 people being diagnosed with it each year — it really is something everyone should know about and be aware of.

Breast cancer affects a person both physically and emotionally. Most women have to go through surgery as part of their treatment. After their surgery they might be left with scars, lose their hair from chemotherapy and their weight can fluctuate during and after treatment. This can lower confidence and leave them feeling unattractive. Emotionally there are so many different feelings to cope with: from anger to anxiety to possible relief that the cancer has been found and will be treated. It's a lot to go through.

Below, along with the help from Breast Cancer Care, I've listed all the things you need to know about breast cancer.

Am I at risk?
Females are the most at risk from being diagnosed with breast cancer. The lifetime risk for a woman developing breast cancer is 1 in 8. With most women (81%) being over the age of 50. Developing cancer is normally to do with chance. However, a small number of people diagnosed with breast cancer have inherited a fault in one of the known cancer genes. Although, even if you have most of the risk factors it doesn't necessarily mean you will develop breast cancer. One person might have many of the risk factors but never develop breast cancer, while another might have a few risk factors and be diagnosed with it.

What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?
There are many signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Changes to look for are:
- a change in size or shape of the breast
- a lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
- redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
- a change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (almost like orange peel)
- discharge coming from one or both nipples without squeezing
- your nipple becoming inverted or changing its position or shape
- a swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
- constant pain in your breast or your armpit

How to check for Breast Cancer?
As everyone's breasts look and feel different it is important to get to know your own breasts. Some people have lumpy breasts, some people have inverted nipples and some have one breast bigger than another — that's why getting to know what's normal for you is important. You can do this anytime — obviously only when appropriate — like in the shower or when getting dressed etc. This is something you should do regularly to make sure you are aware of any changes. Most breast changes are completely normal and not cancerous but if you do notice something different, go and see your doctor as soon as possible.

Breast Cancer Care is a great charity that has helped to support thousands of families each year who are affected by cancer. The charity offers care, support and information from the first diagnosis right through to life after breast cancer. Any support you can give Breast Cancer Care would be much appreciated, thank you!

Sorry, this was a bit of a long post, however it was an important one that I'm so glad I could share with you. I hope you wear pink with pride today and throughout October to raise awareness for breast cancer — I know I'll be. If you've made it this far, thank you for reading!