Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October 2020

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - October 2020

October see Safety Advisors supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and highlighting the fact that Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK.

One woman is diagnosed every 10 mins and in England every year around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.

However, whilst this form of cancer is pretty rare in men, we must not exclude men, around 360 men in the UK each year are also diagnosed with breast cancer that is why we have chosen an image representing breast cancer in both men and women.

There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so regularly checking your breasts for anything different or new is important. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. Getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally means it’s easier to spot any unusual changes and check them with your doctor. 

Symptoms of male breast cancer 

Common symptom for men with breast cancer includes:

  • lump in the breast that is nearly always painless 
  • oozing from the nipple (a discharge) that may be blood stained
  • a nipple that is pulled into the breast (called nipple retraction)
  • swelling of the breast (gynecomastia)
  • a sore (ulcer) in the skin of the breast
  • lump or swelling under the arm
  • a rash on or around the nipple

Symptoms of female breast cancer 

Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. You might feel the lump, but not see it.
  • changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • change in the colour of the breast - the breast may look red or inflamed
  • rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
  • any unusual discharge from either nipple

If you have any of these symptoms it is important to go to your GP straight away. Finding a cancer early gives the best chance of successful treatment.

Working with & Returning to Work after Cancer

Employers have a care of duty and need to ensure the transition back to work is handled with care, empathy and with the required support. 

An essential part of that successful return-to-work is conducting a Workplace Risk Assessment and ensuring that the needs of the employee are met.

We have listed some points that you will need to take into account when looking at the Risk Assessment:

  • Effects of Treatment
  • Fatigue
  • Lone Working
  • Operating Machinery
  • Working at Heights
  • Emotional Support
  • Driving

Macmillan cancer support free helpline can provide emotional support to both Line Managers and Employees.

Their freephone number is 0808 808 00 00 

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