Every year 12,000 people die from the disease and a recent survey commissioned by BMI Healthcare found that in London, 74 per cent of people had either suffered from, or knew someone who had been affected by breast cancer.

The commitment to the campaign aims to highlight some key facts about the disease. The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer, which affects both men and women, is increasing. Each year around 50,000 people are diagnosed with the disease and this October, 4,000 people will receive the devastating news that they have breast cancer.

The research, by BMI Healthcare also worryingly found that despite high profile campaigns, 39 per cent of London residents still believe that most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, have a family history or a genetic predisposition to the disease. “This is just not true,” commented Consultant Breast Surgeon, Mr Faisal Mihaimeed at BMI Healthcare. “Most people who develop breast cancer do not have abnormal genes or any prior family history of the disease. That is why breast awareness and these campaigns are so vitally important.”

Commenting on the awareness campaign, Mr Mihaimeed continued: “There is no right or wrong way to check your breasts. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my colleagues and I are urging local residents to know what is normal for them. It is important to remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone for any subtle changes.

“Current guidelines state that you do not need to perform self breast examinations at any set interval or in any prescribed manner. But, you should know the symptoms of the disease, know what is normal for your body, and be able to quickly identify any changes. You mustn’t be complacent and it is vitally important to remember, regardless of sex, family history or genetic predisposition, everyone should be breast aware. The more aware people are, the more lives we can save.”

Women should see their GP if they are notice any of the following symptoms during their breast check:

· Breast lumps

· Changes in the size or shape of a breast

· Dimpling to the skin of the breast

· Thickened breast tissue

· Nipple inversion

· Lump or thickening behind the nipple

· Rash affecting the nipple

· Blood-stained discharge from the nipple

· Swelling or a lump in the armpit

· Unilateral breast pain if you are 40 years of age

Breast cancer affects both men and women and is the most common form of cancer in the UK. Each year around 300 men and 49,000 women are diagnosed with the disease.

Breast Cancer Facts:

The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, but the good news is survival rates are improving. This is probably because of more targeted treatments, earlier detection and better breast awareness.

The biggest risk factor, after gender, is increasing age – 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.

Breast cancer also affects men, but it’s rare – around 300 men are diagnosed each year.

Breast cancer is not one single disease there are several types of breast cancer.

Not all breast cancers show as a lump, and not all breast lumps are breast cancer.

Less than 10% of breast cancer runs in families, so having someone in your family with breast cancer doesn’t necessarily mean your own risk is increased.

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LMRMC interviewed 1,000 London residents aged 18 or over in London by telephone in September 2012 on behalf of BMI Healthcare. The data was weighted to be demographically representative of all London residents.

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