4 ways you can support this year's Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
While there are a whole host of campaigns occurring throughout the month, there are some simple ways that you can show your support for 2020's BCAM - all from the comfort of your own home.
Here's four easy and proactive ways you can do your bit this October.
1. Donate to breast cancer research
Wearing pink is all well and good, but for breast cancer research to continue advancing and saving more women, it needs funding.
Early detection and advances in treatment mean that breast cancer now has a five-year survival rate of 85%, however more research is needed to increase the number of women who beat the disease.
2. Educate yourself
We all know breast cancer awareness is important, but do we really know how common the disease is and, most significantly, how to properly check your breast?
Approximately 3,351 breast cancer cases are diagnosed in Ireland every year, making it the third most common cancer in the country.
Although more common in older women, people of any age can develop the condition, so it's always important to be aware of any changes in your body.
These could include swelling or thickening in the breast and around the armpit or collarbone, changes to the skin of the breast or nipple, and a change in direction of the nipple. Rashes, unusual discharge, and consistent pain in the breast or armpit can also be signs of breast cancer.
Nine out of 10 changes in the breast do not turn out to be cancer, but it's important to educate yourself on them and consult your doctor when you become concerned.
3. Support the Pink Patrons
Every year, the Marie Keating Foundation partners with a selection of brands and businesses willing to help the charity raise money for breast cancer services during October.
This year's Pink Patrons include Marks and Spencer, Harvey Norman, Skechers, and many others, all pledging to donate to the charity through their 'pink products.'
A full list of this year's Pink Patrons can be found here.
4. Check your breasts - and encourage your mates to check theirs too
Is may seem obvious, but if you can show your support one way, make it with action.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland for women, with one in 10 people diagnosed with the illness over the course of their lifetime.
So, check your breasts this month - and continue to check them regularly going forward. Have a chat with your friends and family members, and tell them to check themselves too.
It's not awkward, it's just being a good mate.
You can find more information on what to do if you think you've found a lump in your breast here. If you are worried about changes in your body, always contact a healthcare professional.