Breast Cancer Awareness Month is around the corner and thousands are ready to don bright-pink clothing to bring attention to the issue.
Although the disease affects many more women than men, about 55,000 a year in the UK compared to 370, anyone can develop it.
It is often treated more successfully in its early stages, so knowing what to look for is crucial to improving survival rates.
So what can you do to raise awareness for this cancer, its prevention, and possible treatments?
When is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month lasts for the entirety of October.
The third Friday in October each year (this year it is the 20th) is also National Mammography Day, according to the US-based Breast Cancer Assistance Fund.
Mammograms, non-invasive X-rays to detect cancers in breast tissue, are encouraged to help spot potential tumours.
According to the NHS, the recommended age for breast screening in the UK is between 50 and 70 — although those with a family history are likely to be called in for check-ups years earlier.
An even more common way to check up year-round is by feeling for lumps around the chest and armpits. If you feel anything unusual, book an appointment with your GP.
What is the theme for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2023?
Each year, the Wear it Pink dress code is a continuing theme and charities such as Breast Cancer Now host fundraising events.
Fundraising packs and tips are available on its site for those planning their own events.
For 2023, Breast Cancer Now is focusing on raising awareness around secondary breast cancer.
A spokesman said: “There are an estimated 61,000 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. That’s why we fund research dedicated to giving those living with the disease more time to live their lives to the fullest.”
Secondary breast cancer is when cancer that starts in the breast spreads to another part of the body, such as the liver, lung, or brain. While secondary breast cancer can’t be cured, treatment can help relieve symptoms and maintain the patient’s quality of life.
The charity say too many are diagnosed later than they could be, and this is something they want to change with their awareness drive this year.
For fundraising ideas or how to get involved, click here.