Dr. Ann Shortt
GP, Emergency Medicine Consultant and Director, Full Health Medical
New ‘Pink Power’ initiative sponsored by Cornmarket successfully raises awareness by 50% and could save many lives.
One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Ireland in their lifetime. It’s the biggest “female” cancer with 3,100 new cases diagnosed annually1.
Thanks to research by Breast Cancer Ireland and other agencies, it is becoming a more treatable, curable illness.
New tests mean the ability to personalise treatment plans, allowing clinicians to gauge the effectiveness of treatments and the likelihood of the cancer returning.
In the next 10 years, it’s expected that most breast cancers will become treatable with drug therapy, and surgery; making invasive chemotherapy a thing of the past.
What to look for
However, even with all the advances in research, awareness and early intervention remain central to the fight against breast cancer.
If you experience any of the following symptoms you should get checked by your GP without delay:
- A lump in the breast or breast area
- A swelling in the armpit
- Enlargement of the glands around the breast
- Puckering of skin in the breast
- A change in skin around the nipple or nipple discharge
- Dimpling of the nipple or nipple retraction
- An unusual increase in the size of one breast
- One breast unusually lower than the other.
Don’t forget to check your insurance policy too – many are now offering wellbeing programmes with really valuable benefits. For example, insurance brokers, Cornmarket, recently launched a programme called Pink Power to thousands of their customers. .
Pink Power offers a face-to-face appointment with a GP for a one-off physical exam, education on how to self-check, and a referral for further investigation if needed (mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy). Cancer was caught in 14 customers. Many said it saved their life.
Meanwhile, 90% said they were more confident to self-check after their appointment, compared to only 40% before. Cornmarket’s Pink Power initiative is an excellent example of how we can increase awareness in women, and ultimately save lives.
1Breast Cancer Ireland, Feb ’20 | 2: Cornmarket, Feb ‘20.