On Thursday 2nd October, Breast Cancer Care Scotland met with Dumfriesshire Elaine Murray MSP at The Scottish Parliament to highlight the importance of breast awareness with a three point checklist.
Forty three attended the event hosted and sponsored by Bob Doris MSP. Elaine Murray MSP posed with the three point checklist, which shows what women need to be aware of when checking their breasts, and several key volunteers who are involved in the charity’s breast awareness campaign, B-Aware.
The charity is running the three year campaign to promote early detection of breast cancer in targeted communities in a bid to improve survival rates across the country.
B-Aware was developed in response to research showing that the breast cancer incidence rate in Scotland has increased by 14% in the past decade (1), while cancer survival rates in Scotland are one of the lowest in Europe (2). It is recognised that the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment can be.
Elaine Murray MSP said:
“I’m thrilled to be showing my support for B-Aware. It has been wonderful to meet such passionate volunteers and to highlight this very important checklist.
“Early detection is essential in ensuring a successful outcome for women and men with breast cancer. That is why it is so important we spread the breast awareness message and help people to spot the signs and symptoms - not only in themselves, but in others too.”
The three-year B-Aware campaign is being supported by Chris Weir, Breast Cancer Care Scotland's first Breast Health Awareness Ambassador. She is donating £250,000 in each year of the campaign’s life.
She said: “Many people face enormous challenges when accessing and dealing with information that the rest of us take for granted. For example, in relation to breast cancer, people with learning difficulties face barriers such as trouble understanding breast awareness messages; written information is not always appropriate or accessible.
“But breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. It’s so important that Team B-Aware continue their vital work and materials like our three point checklist are widely accessible across Scotland.”
Team B-Aware Volunteer Janet Wallace attended the event. She said: “I was diagnosed when I was just 40. I was 39 weeks pregnant with my first baby and had just lost my mum to lung cancer, so found the diagnosis very frightening.
“I want to help people understand what breast cancer is and make it all less scary. To encourage people to check regularly so it can all be caught early.”
Team B-Aware are delivering 15 minute breast awareness talks across Scotland. For more information contact 0141 353 8330 / firstname.lastname@example.org