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Home » Latest News » Breast Cancer Awareness- In the UK, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes

Breast Cancer Awareness- In the UK, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes

Breast Cancer Awareness- In the UK, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes- do you know what signs to look out for?

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes- do you know what signs to look out for?

This October, Bridge McFarland LLP is proud to support Breast Cancer Awareness month and will be promoting ‘Wear It Pink’ on 22 October 2021.

Let’s face it the last 18 months has taken its toll and put a halt to a lot of things, but breast cancer has sadly not been one of them. During early 2020 many hospitals and clinics were forced to put on hold preventative cancer screenings to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and free up NHS resources.

As a result it is still unknown what the full impact of the pandemic has been on breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, but the charity ‘Breast Cancer Now’ estimates almost 11,000 people could be living with undiagnosed breast cancer in the UK due to the pandemic.

However,  breast cancer services are resuming across the UK. So, if you have any new or unusual breast changes now is the time to raise these with your GP.  A lot of people may understandably have delayed speaking with their GP in the height of the pandemic due to concerns about the spreading of COVID-19,  or as a result of the ‘stay at home’ government campaign, but with stringent infection safety measures being in place for appointments, you should not put off seeking medical advice.

It is important to recognise that although breast cancer mainly affects women, it can also affect men too with around 370 men being diagnosed in the UK every year. Furthermore, survival rates are improving and have doubled in the past 40 years due a number of factors including medical advancements and early detection through screening. Yet, according to Breast Cancer Now almost half the women in the UK do not check their breast regularly for potential signs of breast cancer- don’t be one of them!

The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, but there are certain risk factors which are known to affect your likelihood of developing breast cancer. For instance, although 1 in 7 women in the UK develop breast cancer during their lifetime, it is more common in women aged over 50. Also, if you have a family history of breast cancer you may be at a greater risk and require regular monitoring. These are all risks which you cannot unfortunately change. However, certain lifestyle factors, such as losing weight, giving up smoking and doing more exercise may help lower the risk to developing breast cancer.

Remember, early diagnosis saves Lives! Therefore, it is important to check your breasts regularly. This does not need to be daily, or even weekly, but the key is to get into the habit of doing a breast self-examination once a month. When you check your breasts you also need to check your upper chest and armpit area. It is recognised that a woman’s breasts may feel different at different times of the month, so you need to get used to what feels normal for you.

So, when should you contact your GP?

It is important to speak with your GP if you develop any of the following:

1. A new lump or swelling in your breast or armpit.
2. A change in the size, shape of feel of your breast.
3. Skin changes in your breast including a rash or redness. It is important to speak with your GP if your breast feels hard, or skin has an appearance similar to orange peel.
4. For a woman who is not pregnant or breast feeding any fluid leaking from the nipple.
5. Changes in the position of the nipple, for instance has it turned or sunk into the breast.
6. Pain which may be in one or both breasts. This may last for a period of time before going.

  It is important to get your symptoms checked even if you are feeling well. The above symptoms are more often than not caused by other medical conditions, but you should still speak with a GP.

Statistics taken from Breast Cancer Now website.