‘Wear it Pink and Black’ Day at Marymount

Raising awareness about breast and prostate cancer

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Breast Cancer

 Breast cancer is a disease that involves the development of cancerous cells in parts of the breast. This uncontrolled growth can occur in the ducts, lobules or non-glandular tissues and in some cases the cancer can also transfer to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes.

In the UK itself, breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer, constituting almost a sixth (15%) of all cancer cases in females and males combined (2016). Approximately 700,000 people in the UK have received a diagnosis. Every year, breast cancer is detected in around 55,500 people, meaning that over 140 people are diagnosed every day. The disease can affect both men and women, but females are 100 times more likely to develop it. One in eight women face breast cancer in their lifetime whereas the likelihood of getting breast cancer for men is significantly lower at 1 in 1,000. Symptoms of breast cancer include the formation of a lump,  inflammation and abnormal pain in the affected area, nipple discharge or development of skin rashes. Generally, the majority of breast lumps are not cancerous but it is highly important to visit a GP if one experiences any of the aforementioned symptoms as recovery can only be possible if the cancer is identified in its early stages. This is because once the cancer spreads to other bones and organs, or transmits to the brain, lungs or liver, it becomes increasingly hard to treat. This cancer is known as advanced or secondary cancer, and although treatments are available to contain it and mitigate its symptoms, it cannot be cured.

 

Breast cancer is attributable to both genetic characteristics and lifestyle choices. Risk factors like age, drinking habits, obesity, and unregular exercise can all influence the likelihood of developing the disease. However, a very small proportion of breast cancer cases are a direct result of mutated genes or poor habits. Often, it is just bad luck and uncontrollable by the patient. This is where we can help.

Around 1,000 women in the UK die from breast cancer every month. That’s one woman every 45 minutes whose life is cut short by the disease. But if we donate generously and act now, we can increase the rates of early diagnosis, improve treatments, fund seminal research, and help empower women around the world who are or have been victims of this disease. We can create a world where women and men no longer feel helpless or scared but are able to live through and cope with breast cancer, and not let it have any power over their lives.

 

Prostate Cancer

 Prostate cancer is a cancer that occurs in the prostate gland in men that produces the important fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Many men who have prostate cancer don’t even realize it as their bodies show no symptoms of harm. However, in more serious stages of prostate cancer, the tumor inside the prostate glandgrows and spreads out from the prostate, leading to alarming symptoms like pain in the bones, blood found inside semen, irritation near the pelvis, and trouble while urinating. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer occurring in men. Family history, obesity, and old age are big factors that can lead to prostate cancer, but getting checked and diagnosed in the early stages of the illness promise a higher chance of successful treatment. Prostate cancer, if not diagnosed in time, can expand to organs that are nearby or spread through the blood into bones and other organs. In the UK, from 2014-2016, there were almost 48,000 prostate cancer cases per year. The best ways to prevent the occurrence of prostate cancer in the first place is to be active, eat healthily, and keep a moderate, healthy weight.

 

As discussed, breast and prostate cancer are issues that have had a serious impact on people. Millions of people have been affected by it, and many more are fighting against this right now. In our world today, there is a very high need for continued awareness and education for breast and prostate cancer, now more than ever, and its importance cannot be stressed enough. The reason for events such as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ is to highlight the importance of attending screenings to detect cancers as early as possible, so as to increase the chances of successfully managing and treating the illness. This would reduce the number of deaths caused by these cancers as there is more time to treat it. Raising funds for breast cancer research as well as prostate cancer research is also extremely vital, as advances in this research can save many lives. By supporting such awareness events and donating towards cancer research, we are playing our small part in helping millions of people around the world.

 

On the 29th of November 2019, Marymount celebrated ‘Wear it Pink & Black Day’ in order to raise awareness about breast and prostate cancer, and to raise funds that will go towards cancer research. During the day, for just £1, the students wore pink and black clothes to school and participated in fun workshops and talks, in order to broaden their awareness on these issues and find out how they can contribute. There was also a Bake Sale set up in order to raise further funds towards the cause. It was a truly wonderful and enriching day for the whole school community to come together and support this vital cause.

 

Bibliography

NHS Choices.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/symptoms/.

“About Prostate Cancer.” Prostate Cancer UK. https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer.

“Prostate Cancer Statistics.” Cancer Research UK. October 09, 2019. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/prostate-cancer.

“What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?” Prostate Cancer UK. https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-symptoms.

“Importance of Continued Awareness and Education for Breast Cancer Care”

http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com/importance-of-continued-awareness-and-education-for-breast-cancer-care/

 

Greenhalgh, Trisha. ‘The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer: How to Feel Empowered and Take Control.’

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=02lFDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=breast+cancer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj99aaS5IfmAhUXi1wKHQTEBgUQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=breast%20cancer&f=false

‘Breast cancer.’ Brittanica.

https://www.britannica.com/science/breast-cancer

‘Breast cancer.’ Harvard medical school.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/breast-cancer