Breast Cancer Campaign
Five women from Kent who have all been treated for breast cancer are appearing in a new cancer awareness campaign.
Their photos will start appearing on buses in east Kent from today, under the slogan "Not always a lump". The message of the campaign is that there are many different signs and symptoms of the disease.
Dr Mary Buckenham, a GP in Ashford who has a special interest in breast cancer, said: "Most people know that one of the warning signs of breast cancer is a lump – however, breast cancer takes many forms and some of the other signs are not as easy to spot.
"I would urge women to speak to their GP if they notice any changes in their breasts – for example, dimpling or puckering of the skin or nipple, a lump or swelling under the armpit, unusual pain in one breast or any discharge from the nipple.
"The chances are it won’t be cancer but if it is, catching it early increases the chances of successful treatment."
The women who feature in the campaign are Jane Chapman, 50, from Ash (hear our interview with Jane by following the link at the bottom of the page) Kim Coffey, 41, from Margate, Sam Woodward, 39, from Canterbury, Rachel Beck, 43, from Deal and Sally Maggs, 36, from Dover. Sadly Sally died a few weeks after taking part in the campaign photoshoot, but her husband Roger and daughter Isabelle, nine, were keen the campaign should still go ahead.
Roger said: "Sally wanted to spread the word about the importance of being breast aware, especially as she had lost her own mum to the disease at the age of just 35 – so she was delighted to be involved in the campaign.
"When she took part in the photoshoot she had been through a huge amount of treatment and we thought she had beaten the cancer. Sadly she died of secondary tumours a few weeks after the photos were taken.
"However, she had talked to us about how proud she was to take part in the campaign, so we knew that it should go ahead even though she’s no longer with us. We’re very proud of her and in this campaign her legacy and memory lives on.”
The campaign will be officially launched at a women’s health event at ASDA Broadstairs.
Advice from Cancer Research UK
The first symptom of breast cancer for many women is a lump in their breast. But 9 out of 10 breast lumps (90%) are benign. That means they are not cancers. But if you spot a lump, see your doctor straight away.
What else to look out for:
A lump or thickening in an area of the breast
A change in the size or shape of a breast
Dimpling of the skin
A change in the shape of your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast or becomes irregular in shape
A blood stained discharge from the nipple
A rash on a nipple or surrounding area
A swelling or lump in your armpit
These signs don't necessarily mean cancer. But if any of these things happen to you, you should get it checked out.