Let’s Talk Boobs with CoppaFeel!
At Boux Avenue, we want to look after our community from top to bottom. That’s why we are working with CoppaFeel!, the UK’s first and only breast cancer charity for young people, with an aim to end the late detection of breast cancer.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in breast tissue and can affect anyone at any age, because everyone has breast tissue – people of all ages, races and genders.
In the UK, 1 in 7 women and about 1 in 100 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. But there is better news; if breast cancer is diagnosed early, it can be curable. That is why CoppaFeel! want to educate you on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and empower and encourage you to regularly check your boobs, pecs, chests; whatever you call them, we want you to check them.
Stats, facts and myths about Breast Cancer
In the UK…
- 1 in 7 women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Around 400 men are diagnosed every year.
- Around 2,300 women are diagnosed aged 39 or under.
- In females aged 25-49, breast cancer is the most common cancer, accounting for more than 4 in 10 (44%) of all cases in 2014-2016.
- There are lots of myths about things that could cause breast cancer; from deodorant to mobile phones. You can read more about these myths and the facts behind them on CoppaFeel!’s website here.
- Breast cancer can be genetic, but fewer than 1 in 100 breast cancers are caused by a mutation of the BRCA gene. If you have a BRCA gene mutation, your risk of getting breast cancer is between 50% – 90% higher than someone without the mutation. You can read more about BRCA here.
- In the UK, you will be invited for regular mammograms every three years when you are 50-71, but it's important to be checking your chest regularly before then and in between appointments.
Breast Cancer Signs and symptoms
So, now you know some more about breast cancer, what should you be aware of when checking your chest? CoppaFeel! advocates that there is no one right way to check, but you should do so regularly (for example once a month).
Below are some signs and symptoms of breast cancer that you should be aware of when you are looking at and feeling your chest. Remember, not all chest changes will lead to a breast cancer diagnosis, but when in doubt, always get it checked out by your GP.
Tips to get started with checking
Here are CoppaFeel!’s top tips on getting to know your chest;
1) Check regularly, and get to know what feels normal for you! CoppaFeel! recommends once a month.
2) Get to know the rhythm of your own chest enough to be able to detect if anything changes. This could mean checking at several monthly moments during different points in your menstrual cycle, or trying coppin’ a feel standing up and then laying down. Get experimental, and remember there is no right way to check!
3) Make sure you are both looking and feeling your chest; some things to be aware of you can see, some you can feel. As CoppaFeel! say, trust your touch!
4) Breast tissue isn’t only found in your chest. It reaches from your ribcage, up to your collarbone and armpits too, so be sure to check the whole area.
5) If in doubt, get it checked out. If you find something that is unusual for you, keep an eye on it and visit your doctor if you are worried. They are there to help!
6) Get clued up on the signs and symptoms; CoppaFeel!’s handy digital and physical resources can really help, so visit coppafeel.org to find out more.
Need some more help?
If you’d like some more help with understanding how to check and how to get started, the CoppaFeel! Self-Checkout is the tool for you! The Self-Checkout is CoppaFeel!’s fab health promotion tool to guide people through the steps of getting started with checking and provide practical tools to build user’s confidence in their ability to do this on a regular basis. The tool includes a ‘check-in’ count, a step-by-step guide and share function as well as important SMS, email, calendar and shower sticker reminders, downloadable checklists, and video content.
Visiting the self checkout is the perfect way to start on your chest checking journey…
Now you’ve learnt a little more about breast cancer and regularly checking, it’s time to enact some positive change and get to know your body and get checking yourself! Sign up to CoppaFeel!’s text reminders by texting BOOBS to 82228 or visit coppafeel.org to find out more.