Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Now hosts the campaign and they are the leading breast cancer charity in Scotland

Their work is always important, but October is when they get to really shout about it.

For months, the coronavirus put many areas of breast cancer on pause. Now more than ever, they need people, communities and businesses across the UK to help them press play on breast cancer research and care.

From campaigning to providing life-changing care, support and world-class research they want everyone to raise awareness and make sure people affected by breast cancer know they are here for them. 

Health is a devolved issue and many decisions about breast cancer in Scotland are driven by Scottish-based bodies. By having a dedicated, physical presence in Scotland, they can champion the needs of people diagnosed with breast cancer throughout the United Kingdom

Their Work in Scotland

  • Research – they support scientists working on research projects in locations such as Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • Support –face-to-face support services are suspended at the moment but their Helpline, Ask Our Nurses, Someone Like Me and online Forum support services are all still running as usual.
  • Campaigning – they are a member of the Scottish Cancer Coalition and support the Scottish Government ‘detect Cancer early’ programme

Facts and Statistics 2021

How many people develop breast cancer?

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women the UK with one woman diagnosed every 10 minutes.
  • Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
  • One in seven women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month nearly 5,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Who develops breast cancer?

  • Eight out of 10 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women aged 50 and over. 
  • One-quarter of cases are diagnosed in women aged 75 and over.
  • Just over 10,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50 every year in the UK. Of these, around 7,600 women will be in their 40s.
  • Around 2,300 women in the UK are diagnosed aged 39 or under, or just 4% of all cases.

How many people survive breast cancer?

  • Almost nine in ten (85%) of women survive breast cancer for five years or more.
  • Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the past 40 years in the UK due to a combination of improvements in treatment and care, earlier detection through screening and a focus on targets, including faster diagnosis.
  • An estimated 600,000 people are alive in the UK after a diagnosis of breast cancer. This is predicted to rise to 1.2 million in 2030

The importance of checking your breasts

The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. Getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally means it’s easier to spot any unusual changes and check them with your doctor. 

Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. You might feel the lump, but not see it.
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • A change in the colour of the breast - the breast may look red or inflamed
  • Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
  • Any unusual discharge from either nipple

Almost half (47%) of women in the UK do not check their breasts regularly for potential signs of breast cancer.

This is concerning when most cases of the disease are detected because women have spotted new or unusual changes to their breasts and it only takes a few minutes.

If you have a query about breast cancer or breast health, you want to talk things through or find more support, you can contact a breast care nurse who are at the end of a telephone line.

Call free on 0808 800 6000

Opening hours are:

Monday to Friday — 9am to 4pm

Saturdays — 9am to 1pm

To find more information and resources including knowing signs and symptoms of breast cancer, please visit their website: