Breast Cancer Month 2023: The Impact of Late Cancer Diagnosis
Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes place this month (October 2023). This awareness campaign is led by Breast Cancer Now, a charity that has invested more than £284 million in breast cancer research and wishes to raise awareness and reduce the chances of late cancer diagnosis.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world, with more than 55,000 women and 400 men being diagnosed in the UK every year. Sadly, it is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK, with it also being the leading cause of death in women under 50.
This month, Breast Cancer Now is raising awareness around secondary breast cancer, which is when the cancer spreads from the breast to the other parts of the body, often due to late cancer diagnosis. The charity estimates that around 61,000 people are living with secondary breast cancer in the UK, with around 1,000 people dying from the disease every month. Currently, secondary breast cancer can be treated, but it cannot be cured. It commonly spreads to the bones, brain, lungs, or liver.
Sadly, in 5% of cases, by the time breast cancer has been diagnosed it has already spread to another part of the body and statistics show that over 2 in 5 women in the UK do not check their breasts regularly for potential signs. A delay in highlighting symptoms to a GP can result in a late cancer diagnosis, which is why Breast Cancer Now is funding £5.3 million worth of research into secondary breast cancer.
In light of the statistics, Breast Cancer Now is raising awareness about the importance of regular breast checking and knowing the many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer as it is their goal and mission that by 2050, everyone diagnosed with breast cancer will survive.
To make this happen, it is important that everyone plays their own part in acting early and to avoid late cancer diagnosis. Sadly, cancer symptoms can be easily missed or even misdiagnosed. According to an article by Very Well Health, cancer misdiagnosis can happen around 5% of the time and mammograms can miss about 12% of breast cancers.
With this in mind, every man and woman should know what symptoms to look out for. Breast Cancer Now states that the following are signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
- A lump or swelling in either breast, upper chest or armpit.
- A change to the skin, such as dimpling on the skin of breasts.
- A change in the colour, size or shape in one or both breasts.
- Discharge from either nipples.
- A rash on or around the nipple.
- A change in the appearance of the nipple
If you or a loved one has been affected by a late cancer diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer, GA Solicitors may be able to assist you in obtaining justice. If this is the case, please contact us on 01752 203 500 or email enquiries@GAsolicitors.com.
GA Solicitors in Plymouth has one of the leading personal injury teams in the city and South West. The team is ranked in Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and is also accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).
You can also read our recent article about bowel cancer awareness.
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