Breast Cancer Awareness Month: when is it and what is the theme?

·2-min read
Women usually start getting breast screenings from the age of 50 (Rui Vieira/PA) (PA Wire)
Women usually start getting breast screenings from the age of 50 (Rui Vieira/PA) (PA Wire)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is around the corner and thousands are ready to don bright pink garb to bring attention to the issue.

Although the disease affects many more women than men, about 55,000 a year in the UK, 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 14th) 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 ways 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 2022?

Each year the Wear it Pink dress code is a continuing theme, with which charities such as Breast Cancer Now host fundraising events.

Fundraising packs and tips are available on its site for those planning their own events.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has chosen RISE as its theme this year, which stands for its aim to Rally In Screening Everyone.

The site reads: “This year we RISE to ensure every woman has access to the screenings she needs and the support she deserves. Are you ready to RISE?”

Its full calendar for the month splits multiple aims into events and tasks focused on education, empowerment, action and community.

A wall of support is also available online to leave and read community messages to and from those who have the illness.

Magnolia Contreras, the vice-president of community health at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the US, said: “NBCF has not wavered in their commitment to ensure access to lifesaving mammograms and breast health education to underserved women. With their support, we have been able to provide mammography to women and in particular to women of colour, who data show to have a higher mortality rate in breast cancer.

“NBCF’s partnership saves lives through early detection.”