Breast Cancer Awareness Month

First thing's first... October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an international health campaign which sets out to increase the awareness of Breast Cancer & raise funds to carry out research into its cause; prevention, diagnosis, treatment & cure. Not only is Breast Cancer Awareness Month a great opportunity for charities to raise awareness of their work, it's also the perfect opportunity to remind women to be 'breast aware' & check for early detection. 

Founded in 1985, every October countries around the Globe participate in events, award ceremonies & fundraisers to raise both money & awareness of the disease.

About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK
Around 50,000 people are diagnosed every year, around 300 men are affected
Around 81% of breast cancer occurs in women who are over 50
There are several types of breast cancer
It can be diagnosed at different stages of development & grows at different rates
It's thought 550,000 people are alive in the UK who have been diagnosed with breast cancer

In the UK, there is a 1-8 chance of developing breast cancer
Less than 10% of breast cancers run within the family
A mammogram is used to help detect breast cancer
Size doesn't matter, breast cancer can occur in any size breast
Finding a lump doesn't mean that you definitely have breast cancer

A recent survey concluded that only 2% of women know 
the 5 signs of breast cancer detection! 

Most cases of breast cancer are diagnosed when women notice unusual changes & then visit their doctor, diagnosing the cancer early on gives a greater chance of beating it... 

Not sure what to look for? It's as simple as ABC TLC

TOUCH your breasts, can you feel anything abnormal?
LOOK for changes, are there any changes to the appearance or texture?
CHECK anything unusual - tell your Doctor...

you may feel changes to your breast tissue before & during your period

It is important to give your boobs some TLC - perhaps check them whilst you're having a bath, or getting dressed in the morning...  

Cancer research & support campaigns are on-going, but with it being breast cancer awareness month, they have a greater presence... Choosing which charities to support is personal choice, but before you put your hand in your pocket, purchase your pink-product, or quite simply give your time, it is worth considering if by supporting certain charities, you are indirectly funding animal testing. Contrary to belief, not all medical research charities use animals to test the effectiveness of drugs & the development of cancer, sadly a number of the larger UK charities do, these include: Cancer Research UK, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Campaign (including wear it pink) & Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Fortunately, not all cancer research & support groups use animals for their research. In the USA, The American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) does not fund or conduct animal testing, they aim to provide early detection, education & screening services to those in need... Another cruelty free charity is The Garland Appeal, which was created in commemoration of Linda McCartney who died of breast cancer in 1998. Other charities which don't conduct animal testing include: Action Cancer, Against Breast Cancer 
& Macmillan Cancer Support
Some charities may not directly fund or conduct animal testing, however, they may be members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) who support & promote the use of animals in labs.
It's not only worth considering what your money is going to be used for, but how much of your donation will be used for the reasons in which you gave it... 
If it's only a percentage, ask them why.

I'm a supporter of the underdog - I like to donate to smaller charities which don't pay for expensive advertising to give them exposure. 

In April 2012, The Guardian published Britain's top 1,000 charities ranking by donation 

Cancer Research UK ranked 4th

I hope this post has been useful & given you an insight into breast cancer awareness month & where your money might be going! If there is a charity you want to support, don't be embarrassed to ask those charities any questions that might be bothering you - 
contact details are usually on their web pages. 


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