The coronavirus crisis is having a devastating impact on Breast Cancer Now’s ability to raise money, and deliver the progress and support that so many people affected by breast cancer rely on.
This current situation means that the money raised during Breast Cancer Awareness Month has never been more important, helping Breast Cancer Now make life-saving breast cancer research and life-changing care happen at a time when it is needed more than ever.
There are plenty of ways to get involved and support the charity’s work during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond.
Wear it Pink takes place on October 23. Each year thousands of people across the UK dress in their finest pink clothes and fundraise for Breast Cancer Now. Since launching in 2002, the event has raised more than £35 million.
Summer Kendrick, Wear it Pink manager at Breast Cancer Now, said: “The coronavirus crisis is having a devastating impact on Breast Cancer Now’s ability to deliver the progress and support that so many people affected by breast cancer rely on us for.
“For months, it put many areas of breast cancer, including our world-class research, our life-changing community support services and much of our fundraising, on pause. But we know that breast cancer doesn’t stop for anything.
“People affected by breast cancer, our nurses and scientists urgently need your support, now more than ever before.
“We are so grateful to our incredible supporters who year on year take part in wear it pink with so much enthusiasm and creativity.
“If there was ever a time to find that pink top, grab that pink tie or dig out that pink tutu, that time is now.
“Please join us and wear it pink on October 23 to help us continue our vital work for anyone affected by breast cancer.”
Balwinder Nanray, 56, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and explains why she will wear pink this October.
She said: “I underwent a routine annual medical in August 2015, though nothing had been unusual and I hadn’t had any symptoms.
“Then there was the diagnosis. When I heard those three words, ‘you have cancer’, my world crumbled around me.
“The shock, devastation, disbelief, butterflies in my stomach, the fear, finding it hard to breathe.
“A million thoughts spinning around in my head.
“I will always be grateful to the Breast Cancer Now team, who played an important part in my life when I was going through such a traumatic ordeal.
“I believe it is important to Wear it Pink on October 23 because it is our opportunity to raise vital funds and awareness, giving back to and helping those in need.”
Whatever your Wear it Pink day looks like, the charity is reminding participants to follow government guidelines and stay safe.
Register for your fundraising pack at www.wearitpink.org
Breast Cancer Now says there is never one single cause of breast cancer – it results from a combination of the way we live our lives, our genes and surrounding environment.
While some risk factors, such as getting older or having a significant family history of the disease, are out of our control, it’s also estimated that at least 23 percent of breast cancer cases could be preventable.
Some risk factors are outside our control, including:
Being a woman – 99 percent of new cases of breast cancer are in women.
And getting older, as 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60.
For a small proportion of people, a family history of breast cancer. If you’re concerned about your family history of breast cancer the first step is to talk to your GP.
They will ask about any close relatives and more distant relatives. Your GP will then let you know if you need to be referred for further assessment.
The charity says everyone can take steps to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by making changes, including limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, maintaining a healthy weight over your lifetime, and being physically active.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Nearly one in three new cancers diagnosed in women in the UK are breast cancer. One in seven women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
Every 10 minutes in the UK one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and one man is diagnosed every day. If nothing changes, this will rise to one woman every eight minutes by 2030.
In England, every year around 46,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.
A further 7,000 people are diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), an early form of breast cancer, in the UK every year.
Breast cancer incidence rates have increased by 23 per cent in women in the UK since the early 1990s. Incidence rates have remained stable in men.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month nearly 5,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
As women get older, they become more likely to develop breast cancer.
Eight out of 10 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women aged 50 and over.
A quarter of cases are diagnosed in women aged 75 and over.
Around 10,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50 every year in the UK. Of these, over 7,600 women will be in their 40s.
Around 2,300 women in the UK are diagnosed aged 39 or under, just four percent of all cases.
Survival rate are improving for breast cancer and almost nine in 10 (87%) women survive breast cancer for five years or more.
Breast cancer survival has doubled in the past 40 years in the UK due to a combination of improvements in treatment and care, earlier detection through screening and a focus on targets, including faster diagnosis.
An estimated 600,000 people are alive in the UK after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
To find out more about the charity and information on breast cancer visit www.breastcancernow.org.
Find out how to check your breasts and the signs of symptoms of cancer by clicking here