Written By Gabbie Wright
The annual international health campaign is back in full swing, lasting from Tuesday 1st October until the end of the month. Working with thousands of organisations such as Breast Cancer Now and Cornwall-based Coppafeel!, the campaign strives to educate more people on the importance of checking their breasts correctly, early screening, testing and diagnosis, in order to combat the disease that affects 55,000 women and 370 men in the UK every year. With it estimated to be as few as half the female population regularly checking for signs and symptoms of breast cancer, here’s all you need to know to get involved and make sure you’re checking your boobs or pecs, girls and *yes* boys!
Things to look out for when you’re having a feel
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer can vary dramatically, so it’s important to understand all the different warning signs you may come across when checking your boobs. Firstly, don’t panic if you think you’re doing something wrong, as long as you are regularly including an inspection of the breast, upper chest and arm pit in your routine you should get use to what feels normal. Whilst some symptoms such as changes to the size, colour or shape of your breast might be obvious to the eye, some signs will only be noticeable to feel, like a swelling, lump or change in skin texture.
Other symptoms include a rash or changes to the nipple, as well as any unusual discharge.
“Drink less, don’t smoke, and exercise regularly”
Whilst there is no certain way to prevent the disease, you can help to decrease your chances of developing breast cancer through making a few changes to your lifestyle, and at this age it can have the most long-term benefits to you. These changes include drinking less alcohol, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and regularly exercising.
October isn’t the only month we need to be aware of our boobs! Earlier this year, breast health organisation Coppafeel! took to the Cornish countryside for the 10th anniversary of The Hilly Hundred, an annual two-day cycling adventure across one hundred miles of coastal roads, through fishing villages local to the university and around the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome. The team of one hundred volunteers has included celebrity personalities, such as funny man Russel Howard and Vicky Pattison, all biking around Cornwall in order to raise further awareness of breast cancer close to home.
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It’s #menshealthweek and we want to ensure that all young people are aware that Boob-checking isn’t just for those who identify as female. Click the link in our bio to download these posters we created with male cancer charity Orchid to give students the tools they need to check. ✔️
For more information about breast cancer awareness, the charities involved and for support, check out Breast Cancer Now or visit: https://coppafeel.org/your-boobs/
If you notice an abnormality or are worried about your breasts visit your doctor.