UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre partners with Breast Cancer Ireland to promote breast health awareness
4 February 2022 — UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre today, on World Cancer Day, announced a partnership with Breast Cancer Ireland to promote breast health awareness across the country.
The effort will support a new Education and Outreach Coordinator who will deliver breast health awareness seminars nationwide to community groups, health care centres, companies and sporting groups.
The launch is timely in the wake of the recent release of BCI research* indicating worryingly low levels across all age groups of self-checking behaviours and knowledge of the eight signs and symptoms of breast cancer. - proving the sheer scale of the challenges at play, when it comes to driving awareness and education. 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 cancer can be detected early and patient outcomes improved.
The educational presentations will be delivered by Anne Mynes, using a medical mannequin to educate participants on how to perform a self-breast examination. She will also encourage attendees to download Breast Cancer Ireland’s free Breast Aware App.
Commenting on UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre’s partnership with Breast Cancer Ireland, David Beirne, managing director, UPMC in Ireland, said, “The development and support of this important breast health and awareness programme is a natural fit for UPMC as a trusted health care provider and innovator.. 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 and organisations that support patients throughout their cancer journey. This programme will help hundreds of thousands of people in our communities to live healthier lives.”
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, UPMC will help us to change the landscape of this disease for the better(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 in fighting breast cancer 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 corporations are encouraged to visit the Education & Awareness section on www.breastcancerireland.com.