Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international campaign aimed to increase education and raise funds for further research into breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women worldwide, with at least 2.1 million women affected each year.

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that breast cancer accounted for 15% of all cancer deaths in women. Breast cancer occurs most commonly in women ages 50 years and older who have been through menopause, although younger women and men can also get the disease. Risk factors include a family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and being overweight or obese. With increased awareness of breast cancer and its risk factors, cases can be diagnosed earlier or possibly even prevented. Identifying breast cancer cases in the earlier stages means patients have a better chance of successful treatment and survival.

However, did you know that 1,400 deaths a year are prevented by the National Breast Screening Programme.  So if you receive a letter asking you to book an appointment for a mammogram, please do.  Breast Screening saves lives. Breast screening is for anyone between the ages of 50 and 70 who have breasts, due to either naturally-occurring oestrogen or oestrogen hormone therapy. This can include; trans men and non-binary people assigned female at birth who have not had an operation to remove their breasts (bilateral mastectomy); trans women and non-binary people assigned male at birth and who have taken feminising hormones; cisgender women. Men can also get breast cancer – Most men don’t realise that they need to be chest aware but it is important for everyone to check themselves regularly. if you have any of the following symptoms, please speak to your GP;  A painless lump, inverted or retracted nipple, oozing, bleeding from the nipple, a rash in the nipple area, skin ulcer on the chest, a lump or swelling in the armpit or changes in the size and shape of the chest. 1 in 7 women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life and the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. So it’s important to check your breasts regularly and see your GP if you notice a change. Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – you might feel the lump but not see it
  • a change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
  • a change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
  • a change to the nipple, for example it has become pulled in (inverted)
  • rash or crusting around the nipple
  • any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple
  • changes in size or shape of the breast.  Noticing an unusual change doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer, and most breast changes are not because of cancer. But it’s important to get checked by your GP
  • On its own, pain in your breasts is not usually a sign of breast cancer. But look out for pain that’s there all or most of the time.

For more information go to Breast Cancer Now  

Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 2020

We were very proactive in 2020. We added posts on our Facebook page two or three times a day including videos and information in other languages and films for women with a learning disability. We had a competition where we invited women to share the Facebook page and a name was drawn out of a hat at the end of October and the lucky winner received a hamper which was one of many prizes donated by Asda’s in Bolton and Rochdale as well as The Victoria Inn in Bolton.  Thank you all for your donations. 

Take a look at our Facebook Page Here We held a socially distanced afternoon tea event on our unit where we had competitions, a quiz, a raffle and it brought the whole team together for an afternoon of fun which was very much needed, as well as raising money during the day. Tracy, the Cancer Screening Improvement Lead went to Middlebrook Retail Park in Bolton with the BooBee bus talking to women and handing out information about breast screening and being breast aware. A florist in Bolton donated flowers which are planted on the roundabout by A&E and also decorated her shop window to raise awareness.  Thank you to Aroma Roses for your generous donation. All of the Admin team wore pink all throughout October and the Eye Ward (H2) raised over £50 for the unit on Wear it Pink Day (Friday 23rd October) when we also had a socially distanced photo all standing in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon. Tracy also walked 500,000 steps throughout October and with the money raised from this and the afternoon tea event and what was donated by H2, the total raised was over £500.  This money will be used to revamp the reception area at the Sunflower Suite.