Breast Cancer Ireland calls on women to prioritise their Breast Health

To mark International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8, 2020, Breast Cancer Ireland is calling on Irish women to prioritize good breast health. We’re inviting women to download our free Breast Aware educational app, which via a monthly reminder and a simulated video guide, helps women to perform a self-breast check exam properly. The self-breast check exam highlights the eight signs and symptoms to look out for. We’re also calling on those tasked with minding our women, namely teachers, community groups and HR teams, to consider booking a visit with our outreach team for this complimentary service.

Over the past three years, BCI has presented to over 5,000 Transition Year students and their teachers in secondary schools nationwide. This year, with the backing of leading insurance firm Cornmarket Group Financial Services, funding for two additional outreach coordinators was facilitated. The Breast Health Education and Awareness Programme was extended at the start of the academic year with the aim of including visits to every primary school in the country. A team of six outreach nurses and coordinators are now travelling throughout Ireland, educating teachers and support staff on how to perform a self-breast examination and highlighting for women (and for men) the signs and symptoms to recognize. This free service now covers Leinster, Munster and Connaught. The team will continue to visit businesses and the wider community as part of an overall remit

After just five months of the extended programme over 500 expressions of interest have been received from schools and organisations, with presentations made to over 1,500 teachers. This brings to over 40,000 the number of women that have directly heard BCI’s crucial good breast health messages since the campaign began. Most importantly, four early cases of breast cancer – that otherwise would not have been highlighted – have been identified, with patients undergoing treatment.

Using a specially adapted medical mannequin showing the eight symptoms of breast cancer the coordinators educate those in attendance on how to recognize the symptoms and how to perform a self-breast examination. Cornmarket has been working with Breast Cancer Ireland for the past three years and has found through their research that a large percentage of claims related to cancer, in particular breast cancer. Intuitively, Cornmarket teamed up with Breast Cancer Ireland and INTO for this latest extension to the outreach project.

Understanding the signs and symptoms leads to earlier detection and ultimately a better survival outcome. Breast Cancer Ireland’s CEO Aisling Hurley: “On this International Women’s Day we aim to educate women and men to understand the signs and symptoms of breast cancer so that if an abnormality arises, they’ll detect it a lot quicker. Ultimately, lives will be saved, lives will be lived and our fabulous Irish women will thrive.”

Women are encouraged to identify the eight signs/symptoms that should be of concern. These are puckering of the skin of the breast; a lump in the breast or armpit; a change in skin around a nipple or nipple discharge; dimpling of the nipple or nipple retraction; unusual increase in the size of one breast; one breast unusually lower than the other/nipples at different levels; enlargement of the glands; and unusual swelling in the armpit.

If you would like to book an appointment by the Outreach Team, please email

To download our app, please click on the following link

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