Whatever your age or gender, knowing your body and being aware of the symptoms of breast cancer is really important.
Breast Cancer charity CoppaFeel! normally send volunteers into schools, workplaces and communities. As this hasn’t been possible during the pandemic, they have been hosting webinars to bring the chest-checking message home.
CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kristin Hallenga and her twin sister Maren. Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23.
Following her experience, Kris has been determined to get the message out there to young people that catching cancer early means you have a higher chance of surviving and recovering.
Meet the Boobettes
The Boobettes are a group of CoppaFeel! volunteers who have been diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35, have had preventative surgery, a breast cancer scare at a young age or a strong connection to the disease.
Using their stories, they inspire others to think differently about their lives and bodies, educating people about the importance of getting to know your boobs now, and making it a lifelong habit.
Tamsin Wood became a CoppaFeel! Boobette Volunteer after hearing about the charity from a friend. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 33 years old, after noticing a lump when getting ready for work. “After all of my treatment was finished one of my friends mentioned CoppaFeel! as she’d not long had a talk from a Boobette and she thought it would be something I’d be good at as I was so open about what I went through,” Tamsin recalls.
“I wanted to bring awareness to what I had been through. I thought I wasn’t at risk of breast cancer because I had no history of it in my family, I was wrong. I thought it would be an amazing opportunity so applied and here I am! I love every second of it.”
Applications to become a Boobette are open until the end of February 2021 – click here to apply.
If in Doubt, Get it Checked!
CoppaFeel! research shows 1 in 5 young women would delay a GP visit due to a fear of catching Coronavirus, despite the fact more young women are self-checking and confident to notice a change.
The annual research shows that despite the pandemic, more young people are checking their boobs and pecs on a monthly basis (36%) and feel confident to notice an unusual change (60%).
Attention to health remains a priority for young people with checking their boobs or pecs just behind other health behaviours such as visiting the dentist, opticians, doing exercise and checking their weight.
Cara was diagnosed in March 2020, at the age of 28. “I check really regularly because I am signed up to the CoppaFeel! Text reminder service,” she explains. “Although it was in between checks that I found my lump by chance, if I didn’t usually check, I wouldn’t know what was normal and that something was wrong.”
The breast cancer charity is urging young people to be breast aware and know that the NHS services are open, safe and there for them if they experience any concerning changes to their chest.