Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

If you are reading this, I bet you’ve either had breast cancer yourself, are related to or know someone who has had it. I know this because it’s the most common form of cancer; in the UK, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes.

I was 13 when my mum told me she had breast cancer. My first thought was I wasn’t going to have a mum anymore. She told me the reason she had the disease was because she had a faulty BRCA 1 gene (to put it simply she basically has dodgy genes). She went on to have chemotherapy sessions, and with that of course all her hair fell out. It was really hard seeing her like that, but it wasn’t all bad. We had a right laugh choosing some wigs for her and applying fake eyelashes from Primark as all of hers had come out. She then had radiotherapy, and after about a year she was finally all clear.

As of recently my best friends mum has also been diagnosed with breast cancer. These are two direct and very close to home experiences I have had with the disease in less than 7 years. And this isn’t to say I haven’t known other women who went through having this horrible disease since then too.

This puts it into perspective how common breast cancer really is, and how important it is to do what you can to reduce your chances and your friends and family’s chances of developing the cancer.

Unfortunately, like my mum’s case, sometimes you are just cursed by your own chromosomes. However, for most of us there are a few steps we can take to reduce the risk:

  • Limit your alcohol: I wouldn’t say no to a glass or two (or a bottle) of echo falls, but this won’t do you any favours when it comes to your risk of breast cancer.
  • Don’t smoke: I don’t need a PhD in pulmonary rehabilitation to tell you that smoking will increase your cancer chances, so keep off the fags.
  • Be physically active: not only will this reduce your chances of diseases such as cancer, but it will also benefit your mental health.

These are just a few easy steps to help remain breast-cancer free and just generally healthy. However, if you would like to know more about breast cancer including its symptoms and how to properly check yourself, visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer

There are also ways to get involved with events raising money towards research and treatment into breast cancer. For example, this Friday (18th) is WEAR IT PINK DAY! This is one of the UK’s largest fundraising events and has helped raise over £33 million since 2002!

For more information or to get involved, visit https://www.wearitpink.org.

Written by Eloise James

Student Services

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