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Overcoming taboos to checking your breasts

There’s a new a TV ad you might have seen with an older white woman on a seafront pier reflecting on why she needs to remain breast aware as she gets older.

There’s a new a TV ad you might have seen with an older white woman on a seafront pier reflecting on why she needs to remain breast aware as she gets older.

The ad is part of the Department of Health's Be Clear on Cancer breast cancer campaign which is highlighting how important it is for women over the age of 70 to stay breast aware and consider attending breast screening.

Active support

We’re actively supporting Be Clear on Cancer with the strand of the campaign that particularly targets Black and South Asian women.

These groups are being prioritised by the campaign to cascade the vital breast awareness message because when diagnosed with breast cancer in England they have poorer relative survival rates than white women.

The reasons for this are not clear. Two possibilities are delays in diagnosis because people don’t take symptoms to their GP as soon as they spot them and lower uptake of screening opportunities.

Addressing barriers

As with the main campaign activity is about raising awareness that women of 70-plus are still at risk of breast cancer and to make them aware of breast changes that might signal a breast health concern and the need for a visit your GP. Some of the cultural language and religious barriers that stop people visiting their GP early are being tackled.

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Breast Cancer Care is committed to reaching diverse groups with the breast awareness and early detection message. We’ve developed lots of approaches including:

  • breast awareness publications in different formats
  • through our specialist breast health promotion volunteers who are trained to tailor and cascade the message within their local communities
  • through our breast awareness training courses which equip trainees to understand and challenge barriers and myths about breast cancer and tailor messages.

So we were delighted when Be Clear on Cancer asked us to help out. We’re working closely with them running workshops and doing media interviews and other work to highlight the importance of the campaign.

We hope that through our combined efforts plus those of the many other individuals groups and organisations we’ll break through some of the barriers myths and taboos that stop people being breast aware.

Resources

The Asian TV commercial.

Infomercials featuring actress Meera Syal.

Infomercial featuring actress Dona Croll.

Information about the main campaign.

For information about planned Be Clear on Cancer events email our Breast Health Promotion team.

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