When a public figure is in the news with a breast cancer story, it usually leads to an increase in calls to our charity. Of course, this is completely understandable as reading about others’ experiences can raise our awareness of breast cancer. But it can also stir up emotions that perhaps we may not expect given that we don’t actually know the celebrity on a personal level. Why is this? Celebrities’ success ultimately depends on their fanbase, so they want to connect with us and sometimes this leads to them playing a significant part in our lives. It could be that the star is somebody that we relate to from our childhood – perhaps they gave us a positive role model and we aspired to be like them. Perhaps they or their work provided us with comfort, humour or escapism during difficult times. Perhaps we are simply concerned for a fellow human being that we feel affection for. Or perhaps, if a celebrity can succumb to an illness such as breast cancer, we are reminded of our own mortality. These are all natural emotions to feel and every one of us will recognise a time when news of a famous person affected us.

It can be unsettling to think of ourselves developing an illness, especially if we are unsure of its symptoms or what we should be aware of. Thankfully, with regard to breast cancer, there are lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk and simple checks we can do on our own to spot changes early on. As we know, with any illness, early detection is key to receiving effective treatment and improving the chance of a full recovery. In fact, if breast is detected as stage 1, the survival rate is almost 100% so the more breast aware we are, the better the outcome.

At Lady McAdden, we’re always grateful when somebody speaks openly about their breast cancer. It is so important to discuss the illness, its symptoms and what to do if you have a concern.

So, what should you do if you the news has prompted you to worry about breast cancer? Talking it through is a great way of relieving any anxiety you may have. You may need reassurance, advice to improve your breast health confidence or advice about what to do if you have a symptom. Our nurses can talk to you on the phone, via video link or face to face. We also offer talks and presentations to groups so if you know of any that would benefit from increasing their knowledge about breast awareness, just get in touch!