On Friday 22 October 2021, we will wear it pink to support breast cancer awareness. This is a key date in Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide. The objective of Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity behind this campaign, is to show all those affected by breast cancer that they are not alone. The charity is focused on accelerating research and providing vital support, in any way they can, all year round so that by 2050 everyone diagnosed with breast cancer lives, and lives well.
The statistics are startling. Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide: in 2020 there were 2.3 million women diagnosed and 685,000 deaths globally, with breast cancer surpassing lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer.
As of the end of 2020, there were 7.8 million women alive who were diagnosed with breast cancer over the past five years.1
In the UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer and represented 15% of all new cancer cases in 2017. There are over 150 new cases diagnosed every day.2
Breast cancer treatment can be highly effective, especially when the disease is identified early,1 and advances are being made very day, but of course the last 18 months have been particularly challenging for those already diagnosed and also for those seeking diagnosis. We will all be well aware of the difficulties experienced in accessing GP and hospital appointments.
But there is also plenty of support available through charities such as Breast Cancer Now (breastcancernow.org) which provide a helpline, nurse service, and wide-ranging information and guidance from how to check yourself and spot any signs that could require medical support, to patient stories and tips on lowering your risk of getting cancer. They’re also funding over 80 cutting edge research projects looking at how to prevent breast cancer, save lives, and help people to live well with - and beyond - the disease.
So today, for all of those who have been affected by breast cancer, go pink and offer support in any way you feel you can.