Article, infographics and feature image by Natalie Greener
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant [cancer] cells form in the tissues of the breast.
The NHS website states that Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get diagnosed. We think that it is crucial the signs can be spotted and the topic can be freely spoken about.
There can be several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. The reason many fear the C-Word A.K.A Cancer, is partially down to the fact that most breast lumps are not cancerous; meaning scares are a regular occurrence. Either way, it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor. Other noticeable symptoms that should be checked by a GP include: a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts, discharge from either of your nipples which may be streaked with blood, a lump or swelling in either of your armpits, dimpling on the skin of your breasts, a rash on or around your nipple and lastly, a change in the appearance of your nipple. This can take the form of becoming sunken into your breast. However, Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, thus research and awareness are imperative in finding more answers. However, we are aware of certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer. These include age – the risk increases as you get older, a family history of breast cancer, a previous diagnosis of breast cancer, a previous non-cancerous (benign) breast lump, being tall, overweight or obese and drinking alcohol. Despite some causes being identified, it is impossible to guarantee immunity.
The mental health impact that the C-Word has is often overlooked. There is little knowledge of the varied spectrum of diagnosis, meaning those who are unaware jump to the worst conclusion when they hear ‘cancer’. In fact, there are several different types of breast cancer that develop in different parts of the breast. Breast cancer is often divided into either non-invasive breast cancer – usually found during a mammogram and rarely shows as a breast lump, and invasive breast cancer – where the cancer cells have spread through the lining of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue and is the most common type of breast cancer. Even then, these are not the only forms of Breast Cancer! Each diagnosis will vary in impact, treatment and aftercare – every case is unique to each individual. For example, just one operation may send you swiftly into remission. In contrast, breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body, usually through the blood or the axillary lymph nodes. These are small lymphatic glands that filter bacteria and cells from the mammary gland. The unpredictability of cancer means it all totally depends. Tits Upon Tyne is no longer something solely focused on Breast Cancer but the cause is the entire reason our campaign started. Over time it has grown into something that looks into other female and social issues – especially in the creative industries. However, I think now is a great time to go back and look at the point Tits Upon Tyne originally set out to make.
It is so important for you to #CHECKYOURSELF – Mammographic screening is where X-ray images of the breast are taken and it is the most commonly available way of finding a change in your breast tissue at an early stage. However, it is possible that a mammogram might fail to detect some breast cancers. Women with a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer may be offered screening and genetic testing for the condition – something accessible to individuals like me, who had a family member diagnosed. As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, all women who are 50 to 70 years old are invited for breast cancer screening every 3 years. It is so important that you attend as the screenings might save your life!
Tits Upon Tyne values the work done by Breast Cancer Now and so many other charities. If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, secondary cancer, also called advanced or metastatic cancer, is not curable. It is important there is accessible funding to the organisations that are trying to help everyone who might be suffering. A diagnosis of breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways. Charities can be crucial when supporting individuals coping with the diagnosis and treatment, varying from person to person. There are several forms of support available if needed. Forms of support may include; family and friends who can be a powerful support system, communicating with other people in the same situation, finding out as much as possible about your condition, and not overexerting yourself may also help with coping through cancer.
Supporting our community is vital, so we have decided to donate all proceeds made from this magazine to Breast Cancer Now. Since we launched in 2018, almost a grand has been raised through musical community-focused projects, thank you!
BUY A WALL PRINT : IN AID OF BREAST CANCER NOW
ARTWORK BY MEGMCART Description: 50CM BY 70CM Museum-quality posters made of thick and durable matte paper. A statement in any room, each poster is giclée-printed on archival, acid-free paper that yields brilliant prints to brighten up any room. Let your imagination run wild when designing your next masterpiece! – Paper thickness: 0.26 mm (10.3 mil) – Paper weight: 189 g/m² (5.57 oz/yd²) – Opacity: 94% – ISO brightness: 104% – Giclée printing quality – 21 × 30 cm posters are size A4 Blank product sourced from Japan £20.00 Print available at http://www.coatrackrecords.com/merch
NHS Website : https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/
Tits Upon Tyne Website : www.titsupontyne.co.uk
Disclaimer* this magazine is a product of a final year University project and no profits will be retained by It’s Upon Tyne CIC (Tits Upon Tyne). Once costs of the magazine and platform have been covered, ALL PROFITS will be donated to BCN. There is no paid labour in this project and all artwork has been put forth in good-will by the artists.
- Breast Cancer Care
Breast Cancer Care provides breast cancer information and support across the UK. They have specific support for partners and for younger women affected by breast cancer. They have a lot of information about mastectomy wear (including bras and swimming costumes) and also specialise in correctly fitting breast prostheses.Helpline: 0808 800 6000
Text phone: 18001 0808 800 6000
Mon to Fri: 9.00 am to 4.00 pm; Sat: 9.00 am to 1.00 pm
Phone: 0345 077 1893
1–3 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DE
- Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline
The Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline provides support and information to anyone concerned about hereditary breast cancer.
Phone: 01629 813000 (helpline 8.00am-10.00pm)
The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres
Breast Cancer Haven offers free support, information, counselling and complementary therapies to anyone affected by breast cancer. They have drop in centres in London, Hereford, Yorkshire, Wessex, Worcester, West Midlands and Cheltenham. They also offer a programme of care designed to help women with breast cancer feel better and develop a healthier lifestyle. For people who can’t get to a Haven centre, they offer the “Haven at Home” multi-media package.
- Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, medical and financial support. They provide booklets on cancer and treatments, run helplines providing cancer information and benefits advice, and offer Cancer Voices service, enabling those affected by cancer to share their experiences and help shape future cancer services.
Macmillan CancerLine: 0808 808 0000
Textphone: 18001 0808 808 00 00
Mon to Fri: 9.00 am to 8.00 pm; information available in other languages
- The Daisy Network
The Daisy Network provides help, support and information for women who have had an early menopause.
PO Box 71432, London SW6 9HJ
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. There are likely to be many local support groups and regional centres that can provide help and support, so do ask your local GP or breast clinic for further information.
For information about mammography screening please see the following websites:
- Public Health England (2013). NHS breast screening helping you decide. https://www.uhs.nhs.uk/Media/SUHTInternet/Services/BreastImagingUnit/NHS-Breast-Screening—helping-you-decide.pdf
- The Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer (2012). The Benefits and Harms of Breast Cancer Screening: An Independent Review. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/ibsr-fullreport.pdf
- World Health Organisation (2014). WHO position paper on mammography screening. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/137339/1/9789241507936_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1
- Løberg, M. et al. (2015). Benefits and harms of mammography screening. Breast Cancer Research 17: 63. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415291/pdf/13058_2015_Article_525.pdf
- Jacklyn, G. et al. (2016). Meta-analysis of breast cancer mortality benefit and overdiagnosis adjusted for adherence: improving information on the effects of attending screening mammography. British Journal of Cancer 114, 1269–1276. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27124337