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Being told you have breast cancer may be one of the most devastating things you’ll ever hear.

The mixture of emotions experienced is as varied as there are people diagnosed. One of our website discussion Forum users, lyndseyloo...

New guidance published today recommends that people who either have or are at risk of lymphoedema because of breast cancer are told by their doctors and nurses about the potential benefits of physical activity.

Breast Cancer Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Rachel Rawson has welcomed the...

Vaginal dryness and irritation is one of a range of unwanted side effects of breast cancer treatment. It is experienced by many women, and can make day-to-day life uncomfortable and sex painful.

...

With the sun starting to show up, thoughts are turning to holidays away, and our Helpline is getting more calls about travel.

Helpful hints

Here are some of the tips and hints we offer when people ring with queries.

Think ahead

If you're having...

Most of the calls to our Helpline are from women. That’s because nearly 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in UK each year compared to around 350 men.

Being in a minority such as this creates problems on top of the difficulties of being diagnosed with breast cancer, as Doug (...

Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity for us to shout about the impact made by our volunteers. Also, to explain more about our claim that volunteers are at the heart of everything we do.

Breast Cancer Voices

One way we bring in the ideas of volunteers is through our 600-strong...

‘Hi, it’s one of your Someones.’

That’s how one of our volunteers introduced herself when she visited the office soon after we relaunched our one-to-one peer support service as Someone Like Me. It made us all laugh but it also...

At Breast Cancer Care, volunteers are at the heart of our work. So we’d like to use this week –  Volunteers’ Week – to thank them all and talk about our plans for the year ahead.  

I came to Breast Cancer Care’s Services team from the NHS so I was no stranger to seeing people...

Does wearing an underwired bra increase your risk of breast cancer? This is one of the questions we are often asked. And the answer is: no, it doesn’t.

But if your bra is too tight or too small, the...

Newspapers this week are highlighting research suggesting that women with breast cancer in the US may be choosing to have both breasts removed (a double mastectomy) when they are actually at low risk of getting cancer in the healthy breast. Also, having it removed won’t reduce the chances of...

New book for teenagers and pre teens

When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, many other people are also affected. As well as adult family and friends, around a third of the 55,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year have children at home, who will...

Breast cancer treatments can leave people dealing with many physical and emotional changes.

The side effects of treatment, whether temporary or permanent, can profoundly affect the way a woman views her body. Women describe feeling a ‘loss of self’ – who they were before cancer – together...

Some of you may have seen EastEnders on Friday and Monday in which Carol collapses and ends up in hospital. Carol has been having docetaxel (Taxotere) chemotherapy as part of her treatment for breast cancer...

Our long-running one-to-one peer support service is being relaunched under the name Someone Like Me.

Every year we put hundreds of people in touch with one of our trained volunteers for emotional and...

If you or someone you love needs support during the long Easter weekend, our online Forum is always open.

...

Breast cancer in men is rare. About 400 men are diagnosed each year in the UK compared to nearly 55,000 women.

About five per cent of breast cancers diagnosed are because of altered breast cancer genes passed on by parents. Both women and men can inherit and pass on altered breast cancer...

Every year just over 5,000 women under the age of 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer.

To help support them, we've worked with more than 200 younger women and breast cancer specialists to develop a set of the...

When we announced the winners of our 2013 Nursing Network Awards, we said we’d post more details of the winning projects. The awards go to individuals or...

Mother’s Day, on 30 March this year, can be a difficult time when you no longer have a mother. As others are making a fuss of their mum, it can bring up your feelings of loss and sadness.

Working on the Helpline, we hear from many younger women supporting their mums when they have...

When and how do I tell my children that my breast cancer was because I carry an altered breast cancer gene that can be passed on?

Around 5% of breast cancers diagnosed are because of genes passed on by parents. For example, when people have inherited one of the known...

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, and lots of people know how important it is to look after their breasts by being breast aware.

But many of those same people don’t have a clear idea of what to look and feel for when they check...

Some treatments for breast cancer can cause menopausal symptoms. And because we take lots of calls on our Helpline – and written questions through our Ask the Nurse email service – we know the about the negative impact of these symptoms...

When your partner is diagnosed with breast cancer, your life can be turned upside-down too. It can be hard to know the right thing to say and to talk to each other about relationship and practical issues.

If you're in this situation, you might find it helpful to talk to someone else who’s...

Decisions about breast reconstruction surgery are complex and can be difficult to make.

There are many different procedures designed to restore your breast shape after surgery for breast cancer, and various possible timings. This means discussions about what might be best for you probably...

Are you coming to the end of treatment but anxious about what happens now? Are you still coping with side effects, even though your hospital-based treatment has finished? Are you worried that your cancer could come back?

Our...


Eat well DVDDid you know that increasing your physical activity can...

Lots of people are surprised to find out that men can have breast cancer too. This is because we don’t usually think of men as having breasts, but both men and women have breast tissue.

Of the 55,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year, about 400 are in men. And in the...

As we come towards the end of 2013 many people will be reflecting on those who have died this year and in years past.

At Breast Cancer Care we want to provide a safe and supportive space to acknowledge people who have died from breast cancer and for everyone on...

Our aim is to be here for every person affected by breast cancer, and this support can be vital during the festive period.

In the second of two blogs aiming to help you understand the services we make available for anyone affected by breast cancer over the holidays, I asked Amanda*, one...

As the only specialist breast cancer support charity working across the UK, we want to be here with support and information, even during the festive period, when we know people can sometimes need it more than ever.

In the first of two blogs aiming to help you understand what services we...

December is a time when the nights are long, making many of us feel tired and lacking in energy.

With a good night’s sleep, most of us can hope to regain our energy and be able to prepare for the week ahead, possibly even for Christmas. But for someone with cancer-related fatigue, a night...

It can be a great relief when you come to the end of treatment for breast cancer, but we know that it may also be a time when the legacy of everything you’ve been through suddenly catches up with you. This can feel overwhelming.

Whether it’s managing the ongoing side effects of treatment...

Talking about breast cancer and getting the right support for everyone involved can be difficult. We have a range of booklets that can help make this easier – from talking to your children to communicating with your partner.

Our newly updated factsheet...

You’d think it would be straightforward these days to get access to information that helps us make choices about the treatments and care we receive. We live in ‘the information age’ surely?

So why is it that when it comes to information about health, we are so often let down?

...

Support for younger women with breast cancer

Sometimes only someone who’s been there can really understand what you’re going through. Being diagnosed with breast cancer as a younger woman can be incredibly isolating and we often hear how difficult it can be to find...

Hi, my name's Carol and I'm part of the UK-wide team based in our Sheffield office. I help coordinate and develop our Living with Secondary Breast Cancer services. 

I speak to lots of...

Sometimes only someone who’s been there can really understand what you’re going through. That’s why we set up our One-to-One Support service where you can speak to a trained volunteer who’s been through a similar breast cancer...

Hi, I’m Steph from the UK-Wide Services team based in Sheffield. A big part of my role is working on the Younger Women’s Forums – a hugely rewarding job.

Six times a year we bring together a group of...

Breast Cancer Care works with Philips to make more people breast aware

We’ve been working with healthcare, lifestyle and lighting manufacturer Philips on a mobile app to make more people...

We know that treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone drugs can leave a woman with problematic menopausal symptoms, loss of femininity, feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as not feeling sexy or sexually attractive.

But because we talk...

This Sunday 13 October is Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, a day dedicated to spreading the word about the incurable side of the disease, the side where there are no survivors.

Every year in the UK around 12,000 women and 75 men die from breast cancer and...

One of the most interesting parts of editing Vita is interviewing the people affected by breast cancer that we feature each issue. Sometimes I get to meet them in real life, which is even better.

While putting together the Autumn issue of Vita I met Louisa Howarth, our cover star, and her...

Today is the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), giving us a great platform to tell more people about breast cancer and the importance of early detection and breast...

Lots of people tell us that finding the right bra after breast cancer surgery is really difficult and can be a distressing and traumatic experience. 

To support women in this situation and build their confidence with practical information, we run regular free...

Two of our patient information publications have been recognised by the British Medical Association (BMA) in a prestigious annual awards scheme.

The BMA’s Medical Book and...

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, when the media focus gives us a great chance to remind people about the importance of being breast aware.

Breast awareness is vital to women of any age because, although survival rates for breast cancer are improving, the number of people...

A breast cancer diagnosis is difficult for anyone to take in. However, it’s easy to forget about the impact it can have on close family and friends. This may include a partner, mother, sister, child or an employer or work colleague, to name but a few.

Calls to our...

Being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer can affect the people around you in different ways, whether it’s a partner, family or friends.

Earlier in the year, we made a video about talking to people about secondary breast cancer. The video features Tara Beaumont, a clinical nurse...

We often hear on the Helpline from people worried that they’ve put on weight during and after breast cancer treatment.

This can happen for several reasons. For example, some drugs can increase your appetite, you may be...

The first in-depth study of people with secondary breast cancer has found that current care is inadequate.

The study, which was published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, followed the experiences of 10 women with secondary breast cancer, aged between 40 and 78. The study was part...

We’re delighted to announce that Vita – Breast Cancer Care’s popular quarterly magazine – has a brand new website.

Vita online has all the breast cancer news, features and real stories you’ll find in the magazine, and more.

And our new website’s...

Sometimes it’s difficult to talk over the phone about breast cancer and breast health. That’s why we set up Ask the Nurse, a dedicated and confidential email service that can help answer your questions and provide support.

The service has...

How do you reach more than 30,000 people with the vital breast awareness message?

For us last year part of the answer was by working with a Scottish Government health promotion campaign Detect Cancer Early. Our Breast Health Promotion (BHP) team delivered bespoke training courses to staff...

As a breast care nurse working mainly on our Helpline and Ask the Nurse email service, most of the enquiries I deal with are from women. That’s because nearly 55,000 women develop breast cancer in UK each year compared to around 400 men.

Being in a minority such as this creates problems...

The people behind the numbers

We want every person affected by breast cancer to receive the best treatment, information and support, with all our work aimed at making that vision a reality.

We keep careful...

When people are worried, upset or just want to mull things over with someone who understands what they’re going through, talking on the phone isn’t always the best option. We know some people prefer the anonymity of email or they find it easier to write their feelings down rather than talk about...

Volunteers are the heart of Breast Cancer Care. They’re vital to our services and fundraising – from helping out at events to delivering support to people with breast cancer.

Without volunteers, we couldn’t help the thousands of people affected by breast cancer who rely...

Why not come along to one of our Younger Women’s Forums? The next one is 17 and 18 May in Birmingham, where you can meet other young women with a breast cancer diagnosis, share experiences and feel less isolated.

This free two-day event offers a safe, supportive place, with time to...

Improving the treatment, support and care of people affected by breast cancer is a core part of our work here. Sometimes this means we get the chance to learn about and help spread gold standard care and support initiatives at international...

We get a lot of questions about breast reconstruction to our Helpline and our Ask the Nurse email service. Here is a sample.

What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is the creation of a new breast shape...

I’ve been part of the Services team here for more than two years. I travel the country delivering our face- to-face information and support services to people affected by breast cancer.

Many of the women I meet tell me that a diagnosis of breast cancer can be very isolating; that despite...

John Pentland MSP will launch a new HeadStrong hair loss service in Lanarkshire for cancer patients on Tuesday 19 March.  

Run by leading support charity Breast Cancer Care in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire, the three services in Hairmyres, Wishaw and Monklands will help patients...

An innovative drug treatment for secondary breast cancer has received its UK licence.

Patients with HER2-positive, secondary breast cancer and their families will welcome today’s news that pertuzumab (Perjeta) has been approved for use in the UK.

What type of drug is...

Breast Cancer Care's Clinical team went global in February as I boarded a flight for Melbourne, Australia to speak at a national breast care nurse conference. 

The two-day event links breast care nurses throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, updating them with...

A new service to help patients in Scotland cope with the impact of hair loss after cancer treatment is being launched by Scottish broadcaster Kaye Adams in Glasgow on Wednesday 27 February. The service is run by leading support charity Breast Cancer Care in partnership with Cancer Support...

Birmingham, Leeds and Cardiff are all hosting a Younger Women’s Forum in the coming months and you can book your place now.

Every year up to 200 women attend one of these events and every single one of...

Hello. My name is Denise Delaney and in September 2012 I joined Breast Cancer Care as Helpline and Ask the Nurse Manager.

Since then I've seen amazing work every day, and I feel proud to be part of an organisation that makes such a difference to the lives of so many people. 

...

Breast cancer has received much news coverage in the last 48 hours, with headlines claiming there is a ‘Drug that prevents breast cancer for 20 years’ (Daily Mail) and ‘500,000 women to be offered breast cancer drugs’ (Guardian).

Why are breast cancer drugs in...

The unique insight and support of our trained one-to-one peer support volunteers is now available by email alongside the established telephone service.

Sometimes only someone who’s been there can really understand what you’re going through. And sometimes it’s easier not to talk face to...

As we tidy away the trappings of the festive season and put the past year behind us, we may also think about the year ahead. Birthdays, holidays and family occasions go into new diaries and calendars.

For many in treatment for breast cancer, there'll be a point in 2013 when that treatment...

You’ve tackled the turkey, munched the mince pies, cleared away the Christmas debris and it’s finally time for a sit down. But for many people the festive season can be difficult, especially if you’ve got other things on your mind.

...

New guidelines for UK teams providing oncoplastic breast reconstruction have just been launched, along with a summary of the guidelines for patients.

The guidelines aim to ensure all breast cancer patients are well...

Our Younger Women’s Forum in Brighton this week is a particularly special event as it marks 10 years since the first one, which was also held in Brighton.

Like every Younger Women's forum we run, the 23-24 November will be a fund of tailored information and support as well as plenty...

TV personality Sharon Osbourne highlighted our support and information when she revealed this week that she has had a preventive double mastectomy.

She chose to have risk-reducing surgery because she carries a gene that increases...

While working on the Helpline today, I spoke to someone who had noticed a change to her breast and was waiting for an appointment at the hospital breast clinic, having been referred by her GP (local doctor).

She was feeling really anxious, and worried about how long she would have to wait...

‘Information and support for anyone affected by breast cancer’. These words, which appear near the top of every page of our website, describe very succinctly what we do.

I’m the Clinical Director at Breast Cancer Care. I lead a team of 10 nurses, and together we play an important role in...

If you haven’t been through breast cancer, it can be hard to understand that, although someone’s treatment is finished and the person looks fine, they probably feel far from recovered.

...

Now here’s a technique that might be useful to any of us trying to deal constructively with the stresses of daily life: book in some regular worry time.

Use it wisely, and before long you’ll be in the habit of attending to your fears and concerns during this reserved time rather than...

Specialist Oncology Dietitian Olivera Kegey entered the query ‘Diet and cancer’ into Google before coming to speak to the women at a Breast Cancer Care...

We offer a range of courses and talks to people who are experiencing breast cancer treatment or moving forward from it. Over the next few weeks we'll be following our Moving Forward course to give you a better idea of how this support helps.

At the first session of a Breast Cancer Care...

Every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the UK, the number of calls to our national Helpline increases. The month's activities bring a mixture of responses.

For some people diagnosed with breast cancer, even months or years ago, Breast Cancer Awareness Month can...

Today we launch our new online forum and we'd like to welcome everyone, whether you are an existing member or a new visitor.

We know it can sometimes take a while to find your way around a new website and to help you we've prepared some short...

I met Dawn last week at one of our events. She wanted to tell you about how our One-to-One Support service helped her.

...

I’m Kate, one of the services managers at Breast Cancer Care. 

This is the first time I’ve written a blog and to be honest it feels a little strange – I don’t often have time to stop and write about the work that we are doing. But I think it's so important for supporters, like...

When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, very often they need help away from their medical appointments to understand what is happening, be informed about decisions they may face and to feel they are not alone in experiencing the impact of a the diagnosis. 

That’s where our...