Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM).
Every year, organizations and charities dedicate the month to increasing awareness about the impact of breast cancer and endeavour to raise funds for cancer research. Now, more than ever, BCAM is more than just about raising awareness – it shines a spotlight on the challenges and societal barriers experienced by the people it affects.
Did you know that breast cancer occurs both in men and women? It is one of the most common types of cancer experienced by South African women, with 1 in 8 likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
Championing a team of 17 women from all walks of life, Cape Island recognizes the value of raising awareness around cancer symptoms, early detection, and treatment, with the aim of reducing the stigma around the disease.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease where the cells in the breast tissue grow abnormally leading to the formation of a lump or mass called a tumour. Tumours can be cancerous or non-cancerous (benign). Cells contained in these cancerous tumours can further spread into the surrounding breast tissue and lead to complications.
- Risk factors for the disease are a combination of age, lifestyle choices, personal and family history of cancer and other existing medical conditions.
- Key to the successful treatment of breast cancer is early detection and treatment.
- Research proves that 9 out of 10 patients survive for many years following early diagnosis.
- Despite significant advances in the fight against cancer, a specific cause has not as yet been found.
How to detect breast cancer?
Early detection plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and successful treatment of the disease. Warning signs to look out for are:
- A lump in the breast or underarm
- Pain in or on any part of the breast (Some breast cancers present as lumps without pain)
- Spontaneous or bloody discharge from the nipple
- Retraction of the nipple area
- Change in the size of a breast
- Flattening or indentation of the skin covering the breast
- Redness or pitting of the breast skin, similar to that of an orange
- Irritation or itchiness of the breasts
All women are encouraged to conduct regular self-examinations and consult a professional as soon as any irregularity is detected.
- Self-examination – Examine your breasts and underarms on a monthly basis to check for any changes or inconsistencies. This process can help detect lumps associated with breast cancer. Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the above symptoms.
- Preventive screening – A mammogram exam is an X-ray of the breast. Its purpose is to detect breast disease. This exam may be conducted whether or not you have detectable lumps.
Cape Island has partnered with cancer awareness NGO, Pink Drive NPC, and brother charity, More Balls Than Most to help extend the reach of Pink Drive’s message while raising funds for the organization.
Customers wanting to show their support for the cause can visit www.capeisland.co.za and shop products marked with the Pink Drive ribbon. Pink Drive and More Balls than Most will receive ten per cent of the purchase price of selected Cape Island products, including luxury scented candles and fragrance diffusers, until 31 October 2021.
Throughout the month, we will be sharing more tips and educational content around breast cancer. Keep an eye on our blog and social channels!