Check your breasts for cancer but don’t stop there – give yourself a full cancer MOT – The Sun

YOU can never be too aware of your health.

There's a line, of course. Being a full-blown hypochondriac isn't necessarily a good thing.

But, with early diagnosis being so important when it comes to cancer, maybe it's not a bad idea.

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month – more than 11,000 women die each year in the UK from the disease.

My auntie was one of them.

My best friend Rachael Bland was another.

We're only four days in, but this October I've already been 'pink washed' – bombarded with reminders to check my boobs.

Not just on social media, in pubs, burger joints, shoe shops and beauty counters.

All aboard the boob bus

It's incredible, every brand is latching on and getting on board the boob bus.

Lorraine has even got a real boob bus on the roads to get women to check their breasts every month for signs of cancer.

It's awesome, and fills me with hope.

As a result of all of this awareness around breast cancer, more women are surviving the disease than ever before.

In fact, according to Cancer Research UK, more than 130,000 lives have been saved in the last 30 years thanks to all this awareness.

Since 1989 the death rate for breast cancer has fallen faster than any other cancer – it's dropped a massive 44 per cent.

Most women whose breast cancer is caught early will survive – and thanks to awareness more and more women are spotting the signs early enough.

So what could be wrong with brands jumping on the pink breast cancer awareness wagon?

Millions is being raised thanks to these huge brands raising awareness, and I would never want that to stop.

I'm not against it.

The pink-eyed monster

But as a stage 4 bowel cancer patient, I won't lie, I am a bit jealous – the pink-eyed monster, if you like.

I'm a teeny bit angry that while the pink parade is celebrated, there isn't even a sign of a brown parade.

Brands, celebs, everyone seems really happy to jump on the boob bus, but what about bowel cancer, what about raising awareness of checking your poo too?!

Yes, poo is brown and not nice to talk about.

But, here's the thing… bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer in this country – it kills 16,000 people every year, more than breast cancer.

Yet, just like breast cancer, catch it early and 97 per cent of people will survive.

Brands be brave – get us checking our poo too

So, you see where I am going with this?

I wish more brands would show their support and jump on the bowel bus to help get people checking their poo too.

Why is breast cancer awareness so much more appealing?

Is it because boobs are prettier?

A pink ribbon all over products looks pretty too – so the cynic in me says it's good for business, right?!

There are more than 250 types of cancer, and some are really underfunded.

There are more women living with other cancers, than are living with breast cancer in this country.

But, where is the big pink awareness campaigns for ovarian, cervical, bowel, lung and other cancers?

Let's learn from the power of the pink ribbon

I'll say it again, to be really clear, I am not saying we shouldn't raise awareness of breast cancer.

The stats say it all, it works and we must carry on that message.

All I am saying is why not take the learnings of that incredible awareness movement and apply them to other cancers?

To the big brands out there… why not take a risk and put your marketing might behind other great causes too?

Why not be bold, take a stand and break some taboos and support Bowel Cancer Awareness month next April – to encourage people to check their poo?

Why not be among the first to do it – and in doing so know you are making a real difference, and saving lives?

Early diagnosis saves lives

My sole aim in being a bowel cancer campaigner is to stop people dying from this disease.

To stop people going through what I am facing at the age of 37 – an uncertain future, the very real fact I may never get to see my kids grow up.

And early diagnosis is the key.

But to get that, we need more awareness.

And to get that, we need to see big brands lend their support to our calls in the same way they have our breast cancer colleagues.

Don't stop at your boobs… go full cancer MOT

So this October, when you are reminded the check your boobs for the signs of cancer, why not give yourself a full cancer MOT?

Absolutely give those boobs a check for lumps, bumps, and the other signs of cancer.

But, don't stop there.

At a time when cervical cancer screening is at an all time low – get that smear test booked. Check your lady garden for any changes or unusual lumps.

Take a peak in the loo after a number two, just check for signs of blood.

Keep an eye on any bloating, pains or symptoms that have been lingering a while.

And badger the men in your life to do the same, not forgetting their balls for signs of testicular cancer.

Learn your normal – it could save your life

When you take the time to check your boobs, make a mental note to pay attention to the rest of your body.

Learn what is normal for you – what all your bits feel and look like.

That way if, god forbid, you do develop a sign or symptom of cancer there's a better chance you will know – because it won't feel or look like it normally does.

I'm not saying don't delve into the pink madness, absolutely do.

But when you come up for air, don't stop there.

Go full hypochondriac and give yourself an equally good chance of avoiding the other 249(ish) cancers that could kill you too.

Source: Read Full Article