Do you know what to look for?

Do you know what to look for?

A staggering 94% of British women cannot name five common signs and symptoms of breast cancer, according to new research. 

While 84% of women surveyed correctly mentioned a lump as one of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, the YouGov survey of 1,000 women – which coincides with the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – reveals that there is still a long way to go to encourage British women to be breast aware.

Only 9% of women said they would feel ‘very confident’ that they would notice a change when checking their breasts (49% fairly confident). In response, UK charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, who commissioned the research, is today announcing a commitment to putting breast cancer back on the agenda, with its award-winning Touch, Look, Check (TLC) breast awareness message at the heart of its work.

Eluned Hughes, Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Head of Public Health, said: “It’s shocking that despite being the most common cancer in the UK, nearly half of British women do not check their breasts regularly, and nearly all of them still cannot think of five common signs and symptoms of breast cancer without prompting. Breakthrough is working hard this Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help everyone remember to TLC.

“What’s interesting – and encouraging - is that three quarters of our survey respondents could pick out five signs and symptoms when presented with a list; if every woman in the UK had one of our free TLC guides in their handbag, just imagine what a difference this would make to breast awareness.

“We know that early diagnosis saves lives, so it’s incredibly important women know what to look for, and more, that they remember to look. TLC really could save your life, so text to get your guide today.”

Despite the disease killing around 1,000 women in the UK each month, 45% do not check their breasts regularly (i.e. less than once a month), and more than half of this group said that this was because they forget.

More shockingly, nearly a quarter of women who do not check themselves regularly said that they have never thought about doing it.

The survey illustrated the real need for women to have easily accessible breast awareness information, as when presented with a list of options to pick from, 75% of respondents were able to correctly name five common signs and symptoms, with 90% being able to name three or more signs. 

This year Breakthrough is urging women to text SIGNS to 70500 to receive their free, pocket-sized TLC guide. Breakthrough’s TLC push is supported by celebrities** including singer and fitness presenter, Michelle Heaton – who had a preventative double mastectomy in 2012 after discovering she carried the faulty BRCA2 gene, and four-time Olympian Donna Fraser, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer ambassador and four time Olympian, Donna Fraser, says: “I’m proud to be a four time Olympian for Great Britain, but I’m even more proud to say I’m a breast cancer survivor. Sadly, this is not the case for around 1,000 women every month in the UK and it’s devastating to think how many lives this disease has taken. That’s why I am working closely with leading charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer to encourage every woman to be breast aware. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of beating it, so text SIGNS to 70500 today for your free TLC guide; it could save your life – TLC saved mine.”

by for
find me on and follow me on