October is breast cancer awareness month, an annual campaign supported by all major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease. To highlight the importance of checking your breasts regularly, promoting early detection of changes and offering information and support for those affected by breast cancer.
Breast cancer stats & info
- Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK.
- 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer across the UK – there’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected in its early stages.
- A screening to check the breasts is called a mammogram – all women between the ages of 50-70 are invited for breast screening every 3 years.
Causes of breast cancer
The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood. However, there are certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer, these include:
- Age – the risk increases as you get older;
- a family history of breast cancer;
- a previous diagnosis of breast cancer;
- a previous benign breast lump;
- being overweight or obese;
- drinking alcohol.
Get clued up on the signs and symptoms…
- A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before;
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts;
- bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples;
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits;
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts;
- a rash on or around your nipple;
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.
Give your sisters a squeeze
Get into the habit of checking your breasts regularly – be breast aware and get to know what’s normal for you; so that you’re more likely spot changes and quickly…
Check out the Coppafeel website for lots of information on how to check your breasts – you can sign-up for regular boob check reminders too!
Preventing breast cancer
As the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, it’s not possible to know if it can be prevented. If you’re at increased risk of developing the condition, some treatments are available to reduce the risk.
Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet. Although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who: maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, have a low intake of saturated fat and reduce or stop drinking alcohol.
It’s been suggested that regular exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as a third. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can also improve the outlook for people affected by breast cancer.
How can exercise help after your diagnosis and as part of recovery?
- Exercise can help recovery from negative side effects of cancer and cancer treatments.
- Patients who exercise regularly after cancer treatments have a better quality of life, have a lower risk of side effects and have a lower risk of the cancer returning.
- Exercise can help survivors regain their ability to perform activities of daily living.
- Exercise can reduce stress and fatigue
- Exercise is social and can help normalise life, helping to prevent isolation, build confidence and strength in mind and body.
Over the summer I have been studying to further my knowledge, qualifications and areas of expertise, and have successfully completed a Level 4 qualification in cancer rehabilitation through exercise referral. This means I am now able to offer specialist personal training to clients that have been diagnosed with cancer both prehab (before any treatment) and rehab (after treatment) providing they have been given the go ahead by their medical specialist.
It’s vital that after a diagnosis of cancer any exercise intervention is prescribed by a qualified professional and is tailored and individualised to meet the needs of each client; support, guidance and prescription of suitable exercises is paramount.
If you have any questions or would like further information about this specialist exercise service I offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Useful information & links
Information throughout this blog has been taken from websites listed below. Follow the links for further information about breast cancer:
If you notice any changes to you breasts or have any concerns, you MUST contact your GP and get it checked out ASAP… no hesitation or delay!
Call Ruth on: 07891092893
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