“Have you checked yourself?” is the message the girls on this week’s SportsGirls Podcast want listeners to take from the show.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Ireland Ambassador Niamh De Brún was on the show to talk about the disease which affects not just females but a small number of males.
Getting people to check themselves is something that Niamh wants to get out to the public: “I’d be pushing “have you checked yourself” and it’s something that I wouldn’t shy away from to ask my friends, being the Ambassador and my aunt having passed away with it. I grew up with my mum saying constantly to myself and my two sisters “have you checked yourself.”
I would encourage girls to say “have you checked yourself?” Throw it into your group whatsapp, throw in the screenshot of how to check yourself. You never know, one person could take notice of it and check themselves and you could save their lives.”
It is advised that people should check themselves once a month and Niamh revealed there is an app that can guide people through the self examination: “There is a free app called ‘Breast Aware’. It’s a Breast Cancer Ireland app and it’s free and you can download it. It’s unique in that it offers a discreet monthly reminder to your phone and it gives you step by step simulation videos in how to perform a self breast check. They say you should check yourself once a month; mid menstrual cycle. This app guides you through it and shows you how to do it.”
Niamh admitted that Breast Cancer Ireland want people to know that with monies raised they’re now turning this fatal illness into a treatable one: “Research teams funded by the charity are making significant improvements into understanding how breast tumours are developed. They are also looking into developing more effective treatments to treat each individual case. This has led to a 2% drop in mortality rates since ‘94.”
With it being a sports podcast Niamh was asked was there a link between cancer and not participating in sports. She said: “According to the World Health Organisation they claim exercise, activity and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, healthy body weight, healthy diet can considerably reduce the cancer risks be it lung, breast etc. I think everybody can benefit from some bit of physical exercise; try to maintain a somewhat healthy diet.”
So remember to check yourself and if you do suspect something to go to your GP. For more information visit www.breastcancerireland.com, they are also on facebook, twitter and instagram. The app is ‘breast aware;.