Jog for Jugs: Daughter of woman diagnosed with breast cancer launches campaign to get nation checking their breasts
The sobering statistic hit home for 28-year-old Becky Chapple when her mum, 67, was diagnosed with breast cancer during the pandemic.
The diagnosis made Becky realise that she had never checked her own breasts for warning signs, and, inspired by her mother’s courageous response to treatment, the former hotel manager from Dundee felt determined to make a difference.
With the help of four friends and local celebrities including TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and model Emma-Louise Connolly, Becky has launched a campaign called Jog for Jugs in a bid to spread the word about breast cancer awareness.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you or a family member,” she said.
“But it’s one in eight, so the reality is we will all be impacted by it in some way.”
The campaign has been shared across social media, with participants encouraged to jog or walk 8km, donate £8 to CoppaFeel! - a breast cancer awareness charity - share a selfie with their hand on their chest on social media and tag eight friends telling them to do the same. And of course, check themselves.
Cancer charities are predicting a spike in diagnoses as lockdown restrictions ease, another motive behind Becky’s drive to promote breast cancer awareness.
“My family feel very fortunate that mum discovered her cancer early,” she said.
“There are many people who are putting off going to the doctors because of Covid, but we want to make sure that people are still checking and if they spot any changes in their breasts, they must seek medical advice straight away, regardless of lockdown.”
According to Breast Cancer Now, around 11,000 people currently in the UK could be living with breast cancer who have not been diagnosed due to disruption caused by the pandemic.
“We want people to know all of the signs and symptoms,” Becky added, “and we specifically want to dispel the myth that if lumps are painful, they’re unlikely to be cancerous – any unusual changes are worth getting checked out.”
Research led by CoppaFeel! found that one in five young women have delayed going to their GP for a check up for fear of catching coronavirus, according to research in December last year.
It also revealed that five per cent of diagnosed cases are already at stage four (there are five stages in total) with breast cancer being the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women under 30 in the UK.
Sophie Dopierala-Bull from CoppaFeel! said: "The work of cancer charities is vital to share the message that the NHS is open for business and is there for you if you have any concerning changes to your chest.
"We are so grateful to all our wonderful supporters, who not only continue to tirelessly raise funds to support our work, but also do an important job at raising breast awareness and sharing this message far and wide."
CoppaFeel! breast checking tip for whatever sex or gender you are: When checking, feel all the way up to your collarbone and under your armpit as all of this is breast tissue too.
To donate to the campaign visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jogforjugs
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