Supporting The Fight of Breast Cancer this October
Supporting The Fight of Breast Cancer this October
Hello October! The month of Halloween, Autumnal walks, oh and Breast Cancer Awareness!
Breast Cancer is something that can affect anyone, male or female, and October is the month that brings this awful cancer to the front.
Statistics show Breast Cancer affects more than 50,000 people a year with over 10,000 deaths. But it also has a 76% survival rate, one of the better survival rates for cancer. It is also preventable, with statistics showing over 20% of all Breast Cancer cases can be prevented.
Why a blog on Breast Cancer, and not what’s the best lube? Well, cancer in all its forms touches all our lives at some point, and this year Nice ‘n’ Naughty has chosen Wear It Pink and the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network as 2 of the charities we are supporting. So in the next couple of blogs we will look at what these charities do, what the cancer is, and what we can do to help fight it.
This first blog, we will look at the not so common Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
What is it:
If you haven’t heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), we wouldn’t be too surprised, as it is not a common one. It is in fact a rare type, but unfortunately it is also a fatal type of breast cancer, but only accounting for about 2% of all breast cancers in the UK.
Unlike other forms or breast cancer, IBC is not typically discovered through a routine mammogram either and occurs more often in people in age groups that fall before the standard screening age of women. And don’t forget, IBC can affect men and women, developing rapidly, and causing the affected breast to be tender, red and swollen
What to look for:
In the early stages of IBC, symptoms to look out for will include swelling and a redness that affects a third or more of the breast. The skin may also appear a pink, reddish purple; almost like a bruise; or the skin may have ridges or feel pitted like the skin on an orange. Unlike other cancers, that have solid tumours that you can feel during a examination, more often than not IBC will not produce a tumour that you can feel.
Caused because of a build up of fluid in the skin of the breast, these symptoms happen because cancer cells have blocked the lymph vessels in the skin, preventing the normal flow.
Other things to look out for are a rapid increase in the size, sensations of burning, tenderness or heaviness in the breast, or nipples that become inverted. Swollen lymph nodes under the arm, near the collarbone, or both can also be an indication of IBC. But these symptoms can also be because of other conditions due to injury, infection or other types of breast cancer that is locally advanced. For this reason, there can be a delay in the diagnosis of IBC in women.
As with other cancers, the treatment for IBC is a three stage attack, with systemic chemotherapy first, to shrink the tumour, followed by surgery to remove it, and finally radiation therapy. The treatment is a multimodal approach and has been found to be the most effective way, with people who have been treated having better responses to the therapy and a longer survival rate, with patients recovering completely.
So, what is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network UK.
Founded in 2011 by Caroline Ballinger, following the diagnosis of IBC in her daughter, Caroline discovered very quickly that there was no specific support for people with IBC, so took it upon herself to start this charity, which is run entirely by volunteers.
Their mission is to drive forward the education of IBC to both the public and healthcare professionals, fund research within the UK for IBC, along with providing support, advice, and information to those who need it the most.
What To Do:
No one knows your body better than you do, so take time out of your day to have a look and see if there is anything different. Spotting the signs earlier will make the all difference.
We really should be checking our breasts every month. For the ladies that can, the best time to do a self-check on your breasts is 2 – 3 days after a period. For others, pick a date that you will remember!
But if you do spot any of the warning signs, at any point in the month, contact your GP straight away. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and with any cancer; the quicker it is dealt with, the better. It is a proven fact that early-stage cancers are easier to treat than later-stage ones, and the chance of survival is so much higher.
Help, Advice, and Support!
If you have any worries, go to your GP, but there is support available for you from dedicated Breast Cancer specialists, so you are not alone with this.
Below are just a few to help, including the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network UK and Wear It Pink, but remember, if you do feel something different it may not be cancer, so don’t worry too much until you know. It’s always best to get things checked for peace of mind.
The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network UK website has help, advice and support for anyone going through this, including tips and advice on dealing with the different treatments.
Formed in 2019, Breast Cancer Now combined with the Breast Cancer Care charity to become a united force in the campaign for breast cancer research and care.
Breast Cancer UK website has guides on how you can reduce your risk, as well as prevention advice and all the facts and figures behind breast cancer.
And let’s not forget Cancer Research UK, the home of every cancer, fighting cancer every day.
In writing this blog, I am inspired by the people who work within the charities and the healthcare professionals who, day in day out, ensure they pass on their knowledge and skill to others, ensuring we beat this horrible thing they call cancer. There is also the feeling of comfort and hope from the support you get from knowing you are not alone, knowing you don’t have to go through this by yourself, and that there is someone who knows what you are going through.
I don’t know when we will be at a point where we can finally say we have, as a collective, beaten cancer. But I do know each day, thanks to these dedicated people we are closer, and we are living proof that together we can beat cancer.
Love from all at Team Nice ‘n’ Naughty