SOMEONE is diagnosed with breast cancer every 11 minutes in the UK, which is 46,000 a year. This is why the national charity Breast Cancer Care runs Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October to inform people about the disease and hopefully remind millions of women to be breast aware. This will ultimately lead to earlier detection and better survival rates.

A LOCAL cancer unit is urging women to get symptoms checked early to improve chances of survival.

"Women can help reduce their risk by being breast aware, attending screening appointments, eating sensibly, keeping physically active and limiting the amount of alcohol they drink," said cancer prevention officer Sue White from Cheltenham based Cobalt Appeal Fund.

"It’s important for women of all ages to be breast aware. Lots of women check themselves when they are in the shower or bath and have a few minutes to spare. Try to be relaxed and treat the check as a normal part of looking after your body. It is not necessary to check your breasts once a month or at the same time of the month."

Breast changes to look and feel for: - dimpling, - puckering - change in the size of the breast - change in direction of either nipple - a lump/thickening in the breast or armpit The Cancer Prevention Team is giving free talks aimed at ‘how to be breast aware’ to women in their workplaces, clubs and to Year 13s and staff in schools. If you would like a visit you can contact Sue or Wendy on 01242 535905 email For free, confidential support and information visit or call the free helpline on 0808 800 6000 The facts...

* The biggest risk factor, after gender, is age The older you are, the higher the risk; 80 per cent of breast cancer cases occur in women over the age of 50 * More people are being diagnosed with breast cancer, but survival rates are improving This is probably due to improved treatment and earlier detection through increased breast awareness and the NHS screening service * Breast cancer also affects men, but it is rare Around 300 men are diagnosed each year The fiction...

* “Breast cancer is mainly a hereditary disease”

Breast cancer can run in families, but fewer than 10 per cent of cases are as a result of family history * “Pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer”

Wrong. In fact, the more children a woman has, the lower her risk of getting breast cancer * “Deodorants cause breast cancer”

There is no hard evidence to prove or disprove this myth, which has caused unnecessary distress for a lot of women ARE you organising an event or dressing in pink at work for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. If you would like the SNJ photographer to take some pictures for the paper call us on 01453 769427.