2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon as the international symbol for breast cancer. To celebrate, here are 25 little-known facts about breast cancer and Breast Cancer Care.
#1 Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide charity providing care, information and support to people affected by breast cancer.
#2 80,000 people took part in The Big Pink in 2016. Why not hold your own Big Pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
#3 1 in 4 women with breast cancer said their hospital treatment ending was harder than going through treatment itself. Of more than 800 people surveyed by Breast Cancer Care, only 10% said they felt positive and ready to move on when they were discharged from hospital.
#4 Breast Cancer Care has developed a new app to help people affected by breast cancer get the information and support they need. The app is available to download on iPhone and Android phones, and you can find out more here.
#5 Secondary breast cancer is when breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, brain, lungs or liver. It cannot be cured but it can be treated, sometimes for a number of years.
#6 Each year nearly 62,000 people in the UK receive a diagnosis of breast cancer.
#7 An estimated 691,000 people are alive in the UK after a diagnosis of breast cancer. This is predicted to rise to 840,000 in 2020.
#8 One of the major services run by Breast Cancer Care is the free UK Helpline (0808 800 6000). Nurses and specially trained staff on the Helpline receive calls from people who are affected by breast cancer, including individuals, family members, friends, or anyone who wants to talk about a breast health concern. For opening hours click here.
#9 Dorothy Perkins has supported Breast Cancer Care for 15 years and has so far raised over £3 million. This year an exclusive collection has been created to raise money, with 10% of the selling price of each item going to Breast Cancer Care.
#10 The internationally recognised symbol of breast cancer awareness and support is the pink ribbon. For 25 years the pink ribbon has been a powerful symbol for millions of people, and a proud part of Breast Cancer Care’s history since the charity adopted the symbol in 1998.
#11 Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with one person diagnosed every 10 minutes. 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
#12 A Breast Cancer Care survey found a third (33%) of women aren’t regularly checking their breasts. A fifth (20%) say it’s because they don’t know how to check their breasts. Breast cancer doesn’t always mean a lump. Other less well known symptoms include a nipple becoming inverted or a change in texture of the skin.
#13 Around 5,600 women aged 45 and under are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. But the majority of breast cancers (81%) occur in women over the age of 50. Whatever your age, it is important to be familiar with your breasts and to report any changes to your GP.
#14 Breast cancer in men is very rare, but it does happen, with 390 new cases in the UK each year. More than half (55%) of male breast cancer deaths in the UK are in men aged 75 and over.
#15 Breast Cancer Care was founded by Betty Westgate on Christmas Eve, 1973, five years after her own diagnosis of breast cancer in 1968. A celebrated breast cancer campaigner, Betty lived for more than 30 years following her diagnosis and passed away in 2000.
#16 People are living longer with breast cancer, with 9 in 10 women surviving more than 5 years, versus only 5 in 10 in 1970.
#17 Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with a third of all new cancers diagnosed in women in the UK being breast cancer.
#18 Women will start to receive mammogram appointments every three years from the age of 50. Appointments stop being sent at age 70, but many women don’t know that the risk continues to increase with age. Mammogram appointments can still be requested from your GP after the age of 70.
#19 When someone with young children is diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the most difficult things is explaining their diagnosis to their children. Breast Cancer Care has created the book ‘Mummy’s lump’ to help explain breast cancer and treatment to young children.
#20 Breast Cancer Care is extremely fortunate to be supported by fashion brands and their exclusive charity collections. Not only do you get to treat yourself to something new, but you’ll be triggering a donation to support people affected by breast cancer at the same time – win win!
#21 Breast Cancer Care is reliant on supporter donations to ensure that services can continue to be run, to support women and men affected by breast cancer when they need us most.
#22 October is Breast Cancer Awareness month globally. So across the world people are embracing pink to support and show solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people affected by breast cancer every day.
#23 Breast Cancer Care has recently opened two charity shops, one in Hemel Hempstead and the other in Leighton Buzzard. Any donations are hugely appreciated, so if you are in the local area then please pop down!
#24 Most breast cancers happen by chance but a small number of people diagnosed with breast cancer (5%) have inherited a fault in one of the known breast cancer genes; BRCA1, BRCA2 or TP53.
#25 As well as support for people affected by breast cancer from the point of diagnosis and beyond, Breast Cancer Care also provides opportunities for networking and training for nursing professionals. More information about this is available here.
Post written by the team at Breast Cancer Care