In the second part of our series casting light on the cancer charities and organisations you’ve probably never heard of, we sit down with Modern Communications, the people behind #BeautyAndTheBreast, a new campaign encouraging all women to get into the routine of checking their breasts for signs of breast cancer. This campaign also targets young ethnic minority women between the ages of 18-30 years old because, as they told us, “research shows that ethnic minority women are more likely to die from breast cancer, due to late detection”.
So, why are black women 17% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in black females. While black women have a lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to white women, black women have breast cancer at a younger age and are more likely to die from it due to being diagnosed with more aggressive cancers and late detection. Studies attribute this late detection to women being less informed about breast cancer signs, symptoms and sub-types.
What should all women be doing to detect early signs of breast cancer?
[It’s a four-step process – take note…]
1. Get familiar with your breasts so you know what they feel like normally, that way you are more likely to notice changes.
2. Know the different signs and symptoms – a lump is not the only sign of breast cancer. Other signs include changes to skin texture, nipple discharge, inverted nipples, rashes on the nipples, swelling in your armpit area.
3. Find out if breast cancer runs in your family and what your risks may be.
4. Visit your doctor if you think something isn’t right. In most cases, there’s probably nothing to worry about, but better safe than sorry.
But we’re busy and lead hectic lives – how can we get into a routine of checking our breasts?
It takes less than 3 minutes once a week; just make it a part of your morning routine, it’s a must just like doing your hair and make-up. Check them in the shower, while you’re getting ready to go to uni or work, before you go out to the club.
Check them in the changing room in Topshop, HM, Zara, wherever. Even partners can get involved, husbands, boyfriends, significant others, and it works the other way too – if you notice a change in your partner, tell them; you could be saving their life.
What cancer charities should young women be aware of if they need help or advice?
There are loads of organisations out there that offer advice and guidance about breast cancer and can offer support to people and families affected by breast cancer, including CoppaFeel, @BCCare, @CR_UK, @macmillancancer, @mariecurieuk, @breastcancernow and @BreastCancer_UK.
You can follow the Beauty and the Breast campaign on Instagram and Twitter, @ModernCommsUK.