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Women's Health Q1 2022

Being breast aware from a young age could save your life

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Drazen Zigic

Harri Lowndes

Marketing Manager, CoppaFeel!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 25-49, but young people are not routinely screened. Checking regularly is the best way for young people can get to know themselves.


When you think of someone affected by breast cancer, who do you think of? A young person? Perhaps you picture someone older?

Although breast cancer risk increases with age, it is the most common cancer amongst women aged 25-49. Many of these breast cancers will be diagnosed following a presentation of self-detected signs and symptoms. Therefore, breast awareness is crucial for early diagnosis.

Pleasingly, at CoppaFeel! we have seen an increase in the number of young women checking monthly as well as an increase in those stating they would feel confident to start.

When diagnosed at stage 1, almost all (98%) people with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or more.

Early diagnosis saves lives

It’s important, regardless of age or background, to be checking regularly especially for those who are not screened. Young people are not routinely screened and are often overlooked when it comes to breast cancer information.

Our charity is passionate about providing the tools and knowledge young people need to be breast aware because copping a feel regularly increases the chances of noticing anything unusual early. When diagnosed at stage 1, almost all (98%) people with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or more.

How to get started with checking

There isn’t a right or wrong way to check your breasts, what matters is doing it regularly and in a way that feels comfortable. Whether that’s in the shower, in the mirror before getting dressed or lying down in bed. We have some handy pointers to help get started:

  1. Check regularly, once a month.
  2. Have a look and feel, as some of the symptoms of breast cancer are changes you would only notice by looking at your chest.
  3. Don’t forget to check up to your collarbone and under your armpits, as those areas have breast tissue too.

We have also developed a web app called the Self-Checkout, which gives you all the information you need about boob checking, guiding you through the process of getting to know your normal with reassurance from other young people along the way.

If you notice a change to your breasts

We all have breast tissue, including young, old, guys, gals and non-binary pals – so we should all get to know our chests by checking regularly.

At CoppaFeel! we want you to understand that you know your body better than anyone, so if you are concerned about an unusual change, trust your instinct and book an appointment. Don’t be embarrassed, if in doubt get checked out – it could save your life.

For more information, visit self-checkout.coppafeel.org 

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