Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash
Even if Halloween is around the corner, we’re not ready to replace pink with orange yet. And we’re doing it all in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer, with its pink ribbon as a universal symbol.
Launched in 1985 to encourage women to get regular mammograms, BCAM solidified when Evelyn Lauder (of Estée Lauder) established the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the early 1990s.
With breast cancer survival rate being strongly connected to the diagnosis stage, there’s one important truth that we at MAAREE want to highlight ⤵️
The earlier the detection, the higher the survival rate
A few things we recommend:
- Proactive knowledge is power: avoiding the topic because it’s scary won’t help; instead, talk to other women, read books, listen to podcasts and talk to your doctor
- Check the National Breast Cancer Foundation website and empower yourself with their free educational guides
- Exercise and healthy nutrition are your best allies
- Most importantly, check your boobs and remind people around you to do the same
Ok, MAAREE, I hear you. But how do I actually check my boobs?
Here’s how to do it according to CoppaFeel!, the first breast cancer charity in the UK to solely create awareness amongst young people:
( . )( . ) Check regularly
Since you’re already performing in front of an imaginary crowd (we know you do, wink wink), why not perform a breast self-exam in the shower at least once a month? Do it especially toward the end of your period, when breasts are less tender.
( . )( . ) Know what’s normal for you
If you have periods, it’s likely you’ll find that your boobs will naturally change as part of your cycle each month; if they tend to get swollen a few days before your period starts, then you know it’s part of your period routine.
( . )( . ) Look and feel
Inspect your boobs in front of a mirror (don’t forget to smile!) and be aware of anything that’s new or different for you: whether it’s a change in skin texture, size, outline, shape of your breasts, an eczema, or a discharge of fluid.
( . )( . ) Remember your collarbone and armpits
Have you noticed a new lump, bumpy area, or swelling in your collarbone or armpit? Talk to your doctor: breast tissue isn’t only found in your boobs.
( . )( . ) If in doubt, get it checked out
Screening is key – and nope, we’re not talking about more mindless scrolling on your favourite social media. Instagramming your boobs is cool, mammogramming them is even cooler. Women with average risk should start getting annual mammograms at age 45 but, we’ll never get tired of saying it, always check with your doctor for advice.
( . )( . ) Get clued up on the signs of breast cancer
Although some of these changes might occur naturally with your cycle and can be perfectly normal, it’s always good to keep an extra eye on them.
Move from awareness to action
Want to take it a step further? Think of contributing to small businesses and charities run by breast cancer survivors such as Little Lifts (self-care boxes for women who are having chemotherapy treatment), Hello Beautiful (nontoxic practice), It’s My Secret (post-surgery drain jackets), Valiant (lingerie), C-LASH (first ever false eyelash for cancer sufferers), Elyn Jacobs (holistic cancer coach), Stallfinder (one-stop shop for stallholders, events and fundraising ideas), Topknot and Hilary Thomson (coaching for women), or Little Ant (dried flowers, home decor).
Or donate directly to research and/or to cancer organisations that help communities of colour – while breast cancer affects women (and 1% of men) of all ethnicities.
You can also decide to buy our Limited Edition Empower Bra! To design it, we launched a competition back in March on International Women's Day (and our splendiferous Natasha was the winner with this print).
Why should you buy it, we hear you saying?
50% of the profits of every 👏🏽 single 👏🏽 sale 👏🏽 of this bra and A4 print will be donated to CoppaFeel!, supporting them in the amazing work that they do in instilling the knowledge and tools women need to get to know their bodies.
Their mission is to educate and remind every young person in the UK that checking their boobs isn’t only fun, it could save their life too.
While the awareness is never enough, we also know that October is not an easy month for those who fought or are fighting the fight – we at MAAREE are in awe of you. That’s why we celebrate and uplift those who are in need, on top of encouraging those who can be proactive with their health. And not just in October, but throughout the whole year.
We got this. And each other.