This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Strawberry Lips is calling on all young women to not be a hothead. It’s time to boss up because the sky is the limit. Take your life in your hands by checking your breasts regularly. Early detection saves lives, but only if you take the initiative.
Our boobs are with us through the bad times, the good times—and the very, very good times. Once a month, they get tender, itchy, and even swell up. But they’re always ready for a good night out. They’re the best friends we didn’t know we had! But if something was wrong with them, would you be able to tell?
Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in South Africa? Since 2008, worldwide cases of breast cancer have increased by more than 20% and this trend is likely to carry on, with experts predicting that globally we can expect 3 million new cases and 1 million deaths per year by 2040. Though women are most at risk for the disease, men can develop breast cancer too—in fact, approximately 0.5-1% of breast cancers occur in men.
As the number one brand supporting sisterhood, this October, Strawberry Lips is spreading the message that you can’t hide from breast cancer. We answered your most pressing questions about checking your breasts:
No one in my family has cancer. So, I won’t be at risk for breast cancer, right?
Yes, if you have a family history of cancer (and especially breast cancer), then you are more at risk. But many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have close family members with the disease. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers amongst women in South Africa, making up 27.1% of new cancer cases in women.
I’m in my 20s. Do I really need to worry about breast cancer now?
Yes, yes, you do! Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age BUT breast cancer can strike at any age. Approximately 19.4 million women aged 15 years and older are at risk of breast cancer.
How often should I do a self-exam?
You should be checking your breasts around the same time every month, just a few days after your period. Hormones can affect the size and feel of your breasts, so wait for them to settle again.
How do I check my breasts?
All you need is a mirror and some privacy—and remember TLC:
- Touch your breasts: Using the flat part of your fingers, move them around in a gentle circular motion. Feel across your breasts, nipples, under your armpits, right up to your collarbone. You are feeling for any lumps—these can feel quite rounded, soft, and tender.
- Look for changes: Study your breasts and underarms. Do they look different? Is there a rash you didn’t notice before? Does your one boob suddenly look bigger than usual? Don’t be shy! Get right up close and have a look.
- If you find something, don’t delay. Check with your doctor, public hospital breast clinic, CANSA Care Centre or Clicks if you are concerned.
Can self-exams replace mammograms or breast cancer screenings?
Doing your own exams is important for getting to know your breasts and spotting abnormalities as they arise, but mammograms or breast cancer screenings are still the most effective method of screening for any potential issues. Women over 40, regardless of symptoms or family history, should go for an annual screening.
If I am diagnosed with breast cancer, does that mean I will die?
Breast cancer doesn’t need to be a death sentence. Early detections save lives. The survival rate for breast cancer once it has reached stage 3 and 4 is only 24%, but, if caught early, that survival rate skyrockets to 93%.
Don’t be a hothead! Choose to know because the sky is the limit. Join the conversation this Breast Cancer Awareness Month and share the hashtag #DontBeAHotHead with your friends and family on your socials. Who knows, you might save a life and convince someone to get their breasts checked.
Strawberry Lips is famously known as a delicate blend of strawberry-flavoured cream liqueur. It is the #3 cream liqueur in the country, delicious served over crushed ice, in a cocktail, shottail, milkshake or over ice cream.