UPMC Hillman Centre partnering with Breast Cancer Ireland

UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre has today, on World Cancer Day, announced a partnership with Breast Cancer Ireland for the provision of a new Education and Outreach Coordinator who will travel across counties delivering complimentary breast health awareness seminars to community groups, healthcare centres, companies and sporting groups.

The launch is timely, in the wake of the recent release of BCI research* findings indicating worryingly low levels of self-checking behaviours and knowledge of the 8 signs and symptoms – proving the sheer scale of the challenges at play, when it comes to driving awareness and education amongst people of all ages about the signs and symptoms of this awful disease. Key findings show:

– 75% of women still do not know how to properly check their breasts
– 33% say they don’t know all of the signs and symptoms they are looking for
– 46% of women say they simply don’t make time to check their breasts regularly

With these findings in mind, the aim of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre supported programme is to encourage and educate women (and men) of all ages about good breast health so that if an abnormality occurs it will be identified early and the treatment outcome will be more positive.

The Education and Awareness presentations will be delivered by Anne Mynes, using a medical mannequin that shows the eight symptoms of breast cancer whilst also educating groups on how to perform a self-breast examination, recognising the symptoms and encouraging attendees to download Breast Cancer Ireland’s free Breast Aware App.

Commenting on UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre’s partnership with Breast Cancer Ireland, Mr David Beirne, Managing Director for UPMC in Ireland, said “The development and support of this important breast health and awareness programme is a natural fit for UPMC and one that we are truly energised to get behind and make a success. UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre is one of the largest integrated networks of cancer experts in the world. In Ireland, we are a cancer care partner to the HSE, various hospital groups, the Oncology service for the South East, along with organisations that support patients throughout their cancer journey.

Mr Beirne continued “The effect of this programme in the short and long term will be hugely significant and has the potential to really make a difference to the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people living in the communities local to us. We are beyond proud to partner with Breast Cancer Ireland on this initiative and it feels like a natural next step in what has been a long-standing and impactful collaboration between ourselves and Ireland’s leading breast cancer charity”

Ms Aisling Hurley, CEO at Breast Cancer Ireland, added: “The impact of having a partner of the calibre of UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre on board for this important programme is significant. Through this initiative, they will help us to change the landscape of this disease (for the better) into the future. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the treatment outcome. Their outreach across communities in the South East of the country, and beyond, means that we will continue to drive important awareness of this disease in local communities, and in turn save lives”

Commenting specifically on the BCI research findings, Aisling continued “The statistics are stark with regards to this research – there simply aren’t enough women/men checking their breasts properly or often enough, nor do they understand that there are no less than 8 signs and symptoms to be aware of – evidence that our roll out of free education and awareness presentations such as those now sponsored by UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre, are essential to greatly reducing these knowledge gaps, and these current statistics. Our progress continues with research and clinical trials ongoing, seeking to develop newer, targeted therapies for the many different subtypes of breast cancer experienced, so that we can transform this disease into a treatable illness, that can be maintained long term, but this progress must be aligned to greater levels of self-checking and breast awareness in order to help us truly change the landscape of this disease into the future”

Breast cancer will affect 1 in 9 women during their lifetime, with someone in the world being diagnosed every 9 seconds. Early detection is key.

To learn more about the Education and Outreach Coordinator role or to register for a complimentary visit, Community groups, Health Centres, Clubs and Corporates are encouraged to visit the Education & Awareness section on www.breastcancerireland.com

*Source: Breast Cancer Ireland research conducted by CORE in Nov 2021

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