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Think Pink This October And Be Breast Cancer Alert

cANCER

October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Today, it is one of the most prevalent types of cancers in Ireland. Approximately 2,600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Although male breast cancer is rare, there are 20 new cases reported every year. Genetic factors, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and being overweight can increase your chances of getting breast cancer.

It is vital to be breast aware and recognise the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Women between the ages of 50-64 should avail of a free mammogram every two years. It is important to check the breast, armpit and collarbone for changes.

Signs and symptoms include the following
• A lump or thickening in your breast
• A constant pain in one part of your breast/armpit
• Inverted nipple/unusual discharge from the nipple area.
• A change in size or shape of breast.
• Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
• A change in the skin such as dimpling or redness

Most changes are not cancerous. However, if you experience any of the above, you need to speak to a doctor straight away. A doctor might be able to put your mind at ease. It is scary, if you spot something unusual but you need to act fast. Early detection can significantly increase your survival rate.

pinkwalk

You can support Breast Cancer Awareness month by purchasing pink pins and ribbons in various retailers nationwide. You can also participate in the Pink Walk hosted by Centra, with proceeds going to charity. Pink reflective vests can be purchased in Centra stores with funds going to charity. Alternatively, one can opt for a more creative and fun approach to highlight Breast Cancer month. Organising a Pink Sporting event at work would help raise awareness and financial assistance for The Irish Cancer Society.

Freephone National Cancer Helpline on 1800200700 , if you need to speak to a nurse about breast cancer.

As ever a number of special fundraising events will be running throughout the month aimed at raising awareness. Minister For Justice Frances Fitzgerald is organising a Pink Walk on Saturday October 18th in her constituency. The event in conjunction with Lucan’s own Marie Keating Foundation features a 5k walk and will begin at 11.00am at the Palmerstown Youth and Community Centre on Kennelsfort Road. On the day there will be refreshments, t-shirts and a balloon release in memory of those we know who are living with cancer or those we would like to remember. The Marie Keating Foundation’s Mobile unit will be there too, so women can pop in with questions or concerns they have about their own breast health and well being. You can register in advance on www.mariekeating.ie or register on the day from 10.00am. It will cost €10 per person or €30 per family and this will go towards the Marie Keating Foundation to help raise awareness throughout the year.

Speaking about the event, local South Dublin county councillor Vicki Casserly said “I would encourage everyone to come along on the day to help us as a community build greater strength and awareness surrounding breast cancer. Spread the word amongst family and friends and remember… wear something pink.”

Images courtesy of garmental.com and Facebook.com/FitzgeraldFrances

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