Think Pink! Get involved with Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Find out how you can raise money for the charity with events and fundraisers. 

While October is best known to be the time for celebrating Halloween and Black History Month, it also carries another important title: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It’s a time for getting involved in the community to raise awareness through tea parties, fun runs, walks and obstacle courses, all of which helps to raise money to fund treatment and make life-saving research a possibility.

Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear It Pink Day’ is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, having raised more than £33 million since its launch in 2002.

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Knowing and acknowledging the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can lead to an earlier diagnosis. Early diagnosis can be crucial in starting treatments early and could potentially make a major difference in the success of the treatment. A Breast Cancer Care survey found that a third of women aren’t regularly checking their breasts for abnormalities and changes; 20% of these people claim that this is because they are unsure of what to look for and how to do so, thereby stressing just how important it is to raise awareness.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and one person is diagnosed every 10 minutes. This means that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. With this many people being diagnosed, it is essential that the necessary frameworks of support and care are in place.

Breast cancer is more commonly reported in women but it’s not just women who are affected by it. With just 370 new cases each year, breast cancer in men is considered very rare compared to the 55,000 new cases in women. With a severe lack of media coverage and support systems in place, very few are aware that men can develop breast cancer and the help that is available to them. Three quarters of male breast cancer deaths in the UK are in men aged 65 and over. Does this reflect how little information is being produced for men at risk of breast cancer and older generations?  

In addition, there are few screening processes for younger women who may also be at risk. Between the ages of 50 and 71, women are invited to attend regular breast screening processes every three years. Some individuals are eligible for mammograms before the age of 50 years old if they are considered to be in a high-risk group for developing cancer. With 2,200 women under the age of 39 being diagnosed, it is essential for more information to be produced about breast cancer in younger women to raise awareness. This can be made possible through donations to the charities and volunteers.

With the development of breast cancer, there are three main risk factors that may put an individual at a higher risk. One of these risk factors is being a woman, over 99% of new cases of breast cancer are found in women. Another factor is getting older. Over 80% of breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50 and most men who develop breast cancer are over 60. There is also a small link between family history. Although this isn’t the most likely cause, around 5% of individuals with breast cancer have inherited a faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. These genes have the function of producing proteins that surpress the growth of tumours in the body.  

 

Although there many cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the UK each year, the survival rate is improving and has doubled in the past 40 years. Despite the fact that almost 90% of women survive breast cancer for five years or more, around 11,500 people die as a result of breast cancer each year.

In order to fund these frameworks, Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Now rely heavily on donations and contributions from the community. It’s a good excuse to host a coffee and cake party, run a fun run, participate in a muddy runner or for the high adrenaline fans, sponsored skydives among other activities are brilliant ways to get communities together and raise money for fantastic causes.

Events in your area

There are many events planned around the region including the ‘Big Pink Parachute Jump’ in Chatteris on Saturday 9 October and a wide range of ‘Race for Life’ events that take place in Cambridge from July through to September.

A fashion show in aid of Cancer Research UK takes place Thursday 10 October at Bury Lodge in Stansted.

For further information, contact Breast Cancer Now at www.breastcancernow.org or Cancer Research at www.cancerresearchuk.org

 

 

 

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