Ayten Gasson Breast Cancer Awareness Month

How To Play Your Part This Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As a lingerie brand, breast cancer awareness has always been a cause close to our hearts - quite literally. Each October marks a new Breast Cancer Awareness month, so we wanted to play our part, to help you play yours. Let’s take a dive into the importance of this annual awareness, how to perform your own breast exam and easy ways you can support and promote Promote Breast Cancer Awareness throughout October. 

The Importance Of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a global campaign, observed each year in October. It aims to raise awareness about breast cancer, educate about early detection and prevention and honour those who have been affected and lost to the disease. With an average of over 50,000 new cases of breast cancer each year in the UK, (23% of which are preventable) it remains vital to ignite conversation around the topic, no matter how uncomfortable.

Have A Feel - How To Check Your Breasts

Take this as your opportunity to complete a quick, but potentially preventative, breast exam from the comfort of your own home. Familiarising yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel also makes you more attuned to noticing abnormalities sooner, for example, lumps or changes in skin texture. Follow these steps:

  • Standing - either in the shower or as you’re getting ready for the day, use the flat side of three fingers to feel across your entire breast area, right down to the armpit with varying pressure. 
  • In front of a mirror - stand in front of a mirror, arms at your side to asses for any visual changes in your breasts. Place your hands on your hips and press firmly, flexing your chest muscles. Again, asses for changes and abnormalities.
  • Laying down - place one arm behind your head using your other hand to check the breast and armpit areas again with three flat fingers, repeat on the other side. Laying down flat allows your breast tissue to spread evenly across the chest wall for further inspection.

What are the possible signs of breast cancer?

The most common and well-known sign of breast cancer is lumps. While these aren’t necessarily cancerous, (usually they are completely benign) it’s always important to get them checked out by a doctor. Other early signs of breast cancer include a change in the size of your breast(s), changes in skin colour or texture on your breasts (redness, rashes and dimpling) and nipple abnormalities.  

How often should I examine my breasts?

A good rule of thumb is to check your breasts for lumps and abnormalities monthly. This habit step is potentially life-changing as 40% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women who have felt a lump. Consider putting an alert in your phone or marking a recurring date in your calendar so you never forget. 

Ways To Support And Promote Breast Cancer Awareness This October 

  • Donate to charities
Increased survival rates and early prevention care can only come through research, which always needs funding. Consider contributing to charities supporting breast cancer research like Cancer Research UK, The Pink Ribbon Foundation or Breast Cancer Now. As they say, every little helps, and if you’re able to set up recurring payments to support a charity all year, even better.  

  • Wear pink
Pink is the chosen colour associated with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as we see in the pink ribbon symbol adopted by the cause. Use this as a way to fundraise in your workplace or even a gathering with friends and family, ask for small donations to dress up or for bake sales and raffles.
  • Shop charity products 
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many brands offer products that make donations to charities with each purchase. For example, beauty brand Trinny London promises to donate 10% of all sales of their Lip2Cheek tint in the shade Sherin, named in memory of a community member who sadly lost their battle with breast cancer. Discover more products and brands that support the cause here.

  • Educate and learn 
Take the opportunity to lead discussions and educational events with your work colleagues, friends and family. Share your knowledge around breast cancer awareness and preventative tools either in person or through social media. There’s always more to know - listen to podcasts, read a new book or utilise your favourite charity’s educational materials to expand your own learning.