Features Writer | Tilly Currer
Boobs. Tiddies. Jugs. Pecs. No matter what you call them, most of us have them. However, how often do we reallyfeel them? At age 23, Kris Hallenga was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Herself and her sister co-founded Coppafeel!after her diagnosis in 2009to raise awareness and to help young women and men catch breast cancer in its early stages.
It’s easy to disregard breast cancer as only affecting older women, but young women and men can be diagnosed too. In fact, Coppafeel! informs us that 1 in 8 women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime, and 400 men a year are diagnosed.
That’s where the Coppafeel!Uni Boob Team come in. We’re here to remind you to regularly check the twins in a way you’ll remember. We talk about a heavy message in a light-hearted way, and we want to make boob checking a monthly habit for all young people. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the survival rates. To help everyone on campus remember to check, we have an array of materials such as our giant boob and our pink sparkly boobs to grab your attention. At the Freshers Fair many of you were bemused, even shocked by their presence on our table, and a lot of the men who passed told us that they didn’t need to check their pecs. This only furthers our desire and passion to educate young people more.
It’s easy to tell you to check your boobs, but how do you actuallydo it and how do you get involved?
Here are our tips:
Know your normal.
Get to know the look and feel of your breasts. Look in the mirror while you touch them and watch out for a sudden change of size or shape. It’s important to know what feels different because only women (not men) from ages 50-70 are covered for screening in the UK.
Look in the mirror and feelfor unusual lumps, dimpling and nipple discharge. If you see any changes simply go to your doctor to make sure everything is okay.
Feel from your collarbone to your armpits, and for any thickening of the skin. Breast tissue and cancer is not limited to the breasts themselves, it is vital to feel and check your armpits up to the collarbones as well. Watch out for a feeling of constant pain in your breasts that is unusual to you.
Check in the shower!
A simple way of checking your breasts is while you’re washing in the shower and sudding up those melons.
Sign up for text reminders.
It’s easy to say you’ll remember, but life gets in the way so Coppafeel!is here to remind you with a text! Simply text: “UBT RHUL” to 70500 and you’ll get a monthly reminder to check those tattas.
Don’t listen to fake news!
You can get breast cancer if you have small boobs and if you are a man, you cannot get breast cancer from the wrong size bra, and you cannot get it from deodorant. It is important to separate the facts from the fake news.
We are looking for people to get involved and help us raise awareness! Message our Instagram (UBT_RHUL), Facebook (Royal Holloway Uni Boob Team), or myself personally if you’re interested in joining the cause. We will welcome anyone willing to help with open arms!
Remember, being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age is very unlikely, but it does not hurt to keep checking those babies, and it could save your life. If you are interested in finding out more, head to Coppafeel.org to explore the organisation more!