Thank you to Emerson Bugeja, Daishan Psaila, Jean Vella, Tiernan Fraser (Form 4 students) who cooperated to fulfill this YRE article project.
On Monday, 30th September 2019 a school morning assembly was dedicated to the Breast Cancer October Month Campaign at St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua. Then on Wednesday, 2nd October 2019 St. Margaret College Verdala School Queen’s Young Leaders Group assembled with their group founder teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc, to launch an awareness campaign research study about breast cancer as part of the Pink Colour Ribbon Campaign. Inspired by the speeches of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, St. Margaret College Queen’s Young Leaders Group highlights the importance of awareness about breast cancer while stressing prevention.
According to the www.news.cn (dated 2019-07-05), in Malta87 percent of Maltese women treated for breast cancer are diagnosed clear from the disease for a period of five years. This places Malta at a highest percentage among European Union member states. Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that in Malta a total of 80,000 mammograms have been performed since the National Breast Screening Services were first launched in 2009. Minister Fearne said also that the expense on new medicine aimed at curing cancer has gone up to 4.5 million euro. He pledged that the Maltese government will continue to invest in technology to treat cancer.
Quoting recent studies issued in 2018 by the Breast Cancer Now (https://breastcancernow.org), breast cancer can develop in the breast cells of both men and women, but it is more common to be found in women. In the UK around 11,500 women and 80 men die every year from breast cancer. This leads breast cancer to be the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
Research found that less than half (48%) of British women surveyed were regularly checking their breasts for signs of breast cancer, while almost one in ten (8%) had never checked at all. The most common reasons women cited for not checking their breasts regularly were because they forget (41%) and 21% said they didn’t check their breasts regularly because they don’t feel confident in checking.
Checking your breasts will only take you a few minutes. When touching your breasts and looking for changes, one has to check the whole breast area, including the upper chest and armpits. Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. One might feel the lump, but not see it.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
- A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
- A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
- Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
There are various factors that can affect one’s chances of developing breast cancer. It can result from the way we live our lives, our genes and our surrounding environment.
So the question is: What can we do to reduce the risk of breast cancer?
We can prevent the chance of getting breast cancer by making small healthy changes and living well, by drinking less alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping physically active.
This project aims to reach two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-being, and Quality Education.