Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October 2021

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October 2021

October is Breast Cancer awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it is always best to have them checked by a doctor. You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • Discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • A rash on or around your nipple
  • A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer. However, if you have any concerns, speak with your healthcare provider.

Local women affected by breast cancer have bravely stepped forward to further awareness and promote health:

“A great team with you is half the battle won…Check and if in doubt please shout.”
– Irene Catania

If you are diagnosed with cancer having friends, family and wider support networks will provide the “resources” you may need to manage the emotions that follow cancer treatment and recovery. Those who feel supported report better quality of life and wellbeing. Do not hesitate to reach out to our local support networks.

“My breast cancer was picked up in a routine mammogram 5 years ago, I had no symptoms or lumps. Please, if you are invited for a mammogram go! It’s as simple as that.”
– Debbie Perera

Breast Screening invitations are given to women aged 40-70, at 2 yearly intervals. Anyone in this age group who has not received an invitation should attend the Radiology Department in order to be included in the Breast Screening Programme. Remember, screening can detect disease early in people who show no signs or symptoms, and it is in these cases that best health outcomes are achieved.

“I discovered it when the outside of my breast went hard. It seemed to happen overnight. I wasn’t concerned but went to see the nurse at the breast clinic at the hospital and she referred me and a week later I was told it was breast cancer and sent for lots of scans and biopsies…With no history of it in the family I thought I was low risk.”
– Marie Woodward

1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis, and 1 in 1000 men. Even if you are low risk, it is important to check your breasts regularly for any changes and see your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.