Celesio UK speciality director, Ruth Poole, talks about a simple campaign that is educating people about breast cancer.
According to Worldwide Breast Cancer, one-third of cancer deaths worldwide could be avoided through education and screening, yet just 4% of women know the signs of breast cancer. Standard advice is to ‘look for changes’ or something similar, when really what I believe we need to share are the specific symptoms that women (and men) can look out for and then act on promptly.
When breast cancer is found in its earliest stage, the survival rate is nearly 100%. Compare that to detection in the latest stage and it’s a very different story. That’s why being able to spot symptoms of breast cancer early on is vital, and why screening is key to early detection and saving lives.
Getting the message heard however can prove difficult. It’s clearly a very sensitive subject and not one that is easy to talk about publicly. Traditionally therefore, education on the topic has relied on longwinded descriptions and nothing that quickly and simply gets the message across.
So how do you educate a diverse, global population without words about a topic they don’t want to discuss or might embarrass them?
Worldwide Breast Cancer has come up with a simple solution. Their Know Your Lemons campaign is simplicity itself, removing all barriers to effective communication by using lemons as a visual example. If you think about it, a lemon can represent anyone, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity and perfect to use worldwide. Know Your Lemons launched in the UK on 1st October with Vaughan Gethin, Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Services in Wales, announcing his endorsement. National TV and radio features quickly followed.
I’m passionate about nursing and the power of education. So when Tenovus Cancer Care told me they were promoting the Know Your Lemons campaign, I was delighted to confirm my backing and that of Celesio UK as well. I see the campaign as having the ability to really make a difference to a huge range of people that traditionally would not have been engaged. And imagine what that education could mean. Imagine if it meant double the number of women could spot the signs of breast cancer earlier – the impact would be huge.
Celesio UK is proud to champion the Know Your Lemons campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, promoting breast health education to boost survival rates through early detection. Our LloydsPharmacy stores have been displaying material throughout October and we’ve been using Twitter to post regular visuals showing what the key symptoms are. The Know Your Lemons image was the 7th most retweeted message in the UK in 2017; it would be great to get the message out to even more men and women this year.
Help us educate every woman about breast cancer symptoms, risk factors and detection options to help change the picture of breast cancer for good. Know Your Lemons®, they can teach you a lot about breast health. Together, we can educate the world.