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Shocking new research from Breakthrough Breast Cancer has revealed that only 2% of women can name five warning signs of breast cancer.

The YouGov survey of 1,000 women also shows that fewer than half (45%) of women check their breasts regularly*, with the most common reason among those who don’t being that they simply forget (57%).

In response, and to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Breakthrough Breast Cancer is today launching a new, handy breast awareness guide to make sure women have a reminder of the signs and symptoms, wherever they are.


Dr Sarah Rawlings, Head of Policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, says: “These statistics should be a wake up call for women everywhere. We already know that early diagnosis saves lives and that’s why it’s vital that every woman knows what to look for. Our free handy guide is something we can all keep in our bedside table or our handbag. 1000 women die every month from breast cancer. This is something that is just too important to forget. Text to get your guide today.”

Supported by Dr Hilary Jones and Bernie Nolan, amongst other celebrities, the guide contains the charity’s award winning Touch Look Check (TLC) breast awareness message. It advises women to touch their breasts, look for any changes and if they spot anything unusual, check it out with their GP. The TLC guide is available by texting TLC to 84424 or register online at www.tlcguide.org . Text users will only be charged their standard network rate and no premium number charges apply.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer campaigners will be out in force on high streets and in shopping centres across the country today handing out the vital guide. They will be in 20 locations including London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Androulla Pieri, 51, from west London, had a heavy dull ache in the breast for years but had ignored the symptoms . She later developed a puckering of the area around the nipple and a heavy, bruised feeling. She was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer in 2008 after eventually explaining her concerns to her doctor. She is in remission and following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy is being treated with an aromatase inhibitor to keep the disease at bay.


Androulla Pieri said: “I didn’t think the symptoms I had could be breast cancer. I ignored the warning signs for years and when I finally went to the doctor it was very serious. I feel lucky to be alive which makes me want more women to make sure they know all the signs of breast cancer.”

The five most common signs are:

  • ·         A lump
  • ·         A change to skin texture
  • ·         A rash or crusting
  • ·         A change in appearance of nipple
  • ·         Nipple discharge

Breakthrough Breast Cancer Ambassador Dr Hilary Jones said: “Many women don’t check their breasts because they don’t think they are at risk, they don’t know what signs and symptoms they are looking for, or they simply forget. I’m supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s TLC campaign to encourage as many people as possible to text TLC to 84424 to get their free handy guide that could save their life. The guide includes five common signs and symptoms of breast cancer and is handy enough to slip into a purse so people don’t forget the warning signs.”

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