Today, 4th February, is World Cancer Day. I think it would be lovely if everyone who reads this does one thing support it. These are a few suggestions from me....
Spread the word about nipples!
Share the link to my blog post about nipples! My breast cancer was diagnosed not because I felt a lump, but because I had a slightly wonky nipple. Most people are aware that breast lumps can be a sign of breast cancer, but not everyone knows there are other signs like wonky nipples too. This is the link - you could share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or email it round. http://hbocuninformed.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/nipples-nipples-nipples-nipples-nipples.html
Call or text someone you know with cancer/who has had cancer
It can make you feel so happy when people get in touch. And it can make you feel so sad when people don't. If you know someone with cancer or who has recently had cancer, drop them a line. If you don't know what to say, don't worry. You'd be amazed how much it means just to get messages that say something like "Hi, was thinking of you, hope you're well?"
Support an amazing little charity called Coping with Cancer
If you live in Leicestershire, you could consider making a small donation to the wonderful local charity Coping with Cancer. You can do this by texting CWCA12 followed by the amount you would like to donate (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070. For example, to donate £3 text CWCA12 £3 to 70070.
If you live elsewhere you could find out about a cancer charity that is local to you and donate to them. Or donate to one of the bigger cancer charities, obviously.
Tell people about the Younger Breast Cancer Network (UK)
This is a support group for women in the UK under the age of 45 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/YoungerBreastCancerNetwork - share the link! Someone you know might know a young woman with breast cancer who would benefit from knowing about and joining the group. Spread the word!
(This is Diane, a friend I met through YBCN, who blogs at A Little Earthquake)
Make a commitment to raise some money for cancer research or support
Is it a while since you did a sponsored something? Maybe you could do something this year and raise some money for a cancer research or support charity. Make that commitment today - sign up for an event, set up your fundraising page and share the link with your friends and family.
Write to your MP to demand a fair price for life-extending breast cancer drugs
Drugs exist that mean women with secondary breast cancer can live longer (hopefully long enough for more and better treatments to be trialled and become available). Women like my friends Rosie and Jojo. Unfortunately these drugs aren’t available to everyone who needs them because they’re too expensive for the NHS. Breakthrough Breast Cancer are calling for fairer access to these drugs. The UK Government can help fix the problem by demanding a fair price from pharmaceutical companies and creating a system of access and approval that will ensure cancer patients get the drugs they need at prices the NHS can afford.
You can find out how to write to your MP about this on the Breakthrough Breast Cancer website here: http://www.breakthrough.org.uk/demandafairprice/
(This is my friend Jojo who has secondary breast cancer and blogs at The Malignant Ginger)
Those are my suggestions! You might have other ideas. But please do something on World Cancer Day 2015. Together #WeWillUnite and beat cancer.