Thursday the 13th October 2016 has been named “national no bra day”. This is to support breast cancer awareness. Reading up on this, there have been people in the past who haven’t been all for this day. They have questioned how going braless is going to help people suffering, suffered or being diagnosed with breast cancer. I understand where they’re coming from, I really do, so much so I questioned it myself. However, day’s like this are organised to get people talking about breast cancer and make people donate. Even though it’s just one day, it makes people think about cancer. If it wasn’t an awareness day, people would just treat it like any other day. Each year, there seems to be a handful of tweets as well about people using this day to sexualise women going braless rather than making it an awareness day. Enough of this though, I’m going to talk about what actually matters and that is breast cancer itself.
Breast cancer affects both women and men and at any age with around 60,000 people per year being diagnosed. Shockingly that’s 1 person every 10 minutes. In the UK 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life and 1 in 7 women over the ages of 50 who do attend regular mammograms, don’t actually check their breasts, though. Around 400 men each year are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly nearly 12,000 people die each year from breast cancer, however, 85% of people do survive beyond 5 years. I do hope though it will be 100% soon and for forever.
Like most cancers, there is not one definitive reason for why people get breast cancer. It is thought though that genes, lifestyle choices and surrounding environment are somewhat to blame. There are things you can do though to keep a check on your breasts. Every woman over the age of 50 will be asked to have routine mammograms. A mammogram is pretty much an x-ray of your breast. However after the age of 70, you must call to make your own appointments, one won’t be made for you like before. For people under the age of 50. You need to use the TLC rules. This stands for T- Touch, feeling anything different/unusual, L-Look, do they look any different regarding shape or textures, and lastly C-Check anything you think is unusual with your doctor. All these go for men as well.
Symptoms of breast cancer in women are:
- a change in the size, shape or feel of a breast
- a new lump or thickening in a breast or armpit
- skin changes such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
- fluid leaking from a nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding
- changes in the position of a nipple
- pain in your breast Symptoms of breast cancer in men are:
- Oozing from the nipple (a discharge) that may be blood stained
- Swelling of the breast
- A sore (ulcer) in the skin of the breast
- A nipple that is pulled into the breast (called nipple retraction)
- Lumps under the arm
When it comes to treatment, usually women are advised to have surgery to remove the cancerous tissues. As breast tissue starts high in the armpit, tissue from there may also have to be removed. After the surgery and recovery process, additional treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other drugs may be given to reduce the risk of cancer returning or spreading.
This is just a short article about breast cancer with some facts to make people aware of the disease. So as longs if going bra free isn’t making cancer worse, I don’t see why it’s doing any harm on this day. So ladies take off those bra’s and don’t forget to donate money to cancer research and encourage other to do the same. If you’re not up for going bra free for the day, breast cancer UK have another two ways for awareness. They are doing the #DitchTheJunk. This is what they say on their site about it. “We’re asking you to make a pledge to #DitchTheJunk, and in doing so reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals which may be linked to breast cancer”. In December they are also asking all runners and want to be runners, to travel to London and do a Santa fun run to raise awareness. For more information on both of these please go to their website http://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/