Our columnist, Giovanna Fletcher is an author and vlogger (Giovannasworld.com), she’s married to Tom Fletcher of McFly and is mum to sons Buzz, two, and Buddy, six months. This month, Giovanna talks about breast cancer, getting to know your boobs, and how to spot the signs. 'Give your boobs some love!', says the mum of two...
Breast cancer sucks. Plain and simple. It's a horrible disease that has affected so many wonderful women I know. The statistics are shocking. Almost 55,000 people are diagnosed each year in the UK alone (that includes men) and it’s estimated that one in eight of us women will develop it in our lifetime. So raising awareness and supporting those affected is incredibly important to me.
In the last couple of years I've been lucky enough to get to know Kris Hallenga, 30, an extraordinary woman who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer aged just 23 years old. If Kris's symptoms had been looked into earlier (doctors told her it was nothing and didn't scan) then the cancer wouldn't have got to such an advanced stage. She wouldn't be living with cancer as she is now.
(Above: Giovanna Fletcher with her friend Kris Hallenga)
Kris is on a mission to get people to know their normal (all our baps are different – just get to know yours) and to do something about it if anything different is found – that includes lumps, dimpling, discharge, crusty nipples and pain. Before meeting Kris I didn't give my boobies any love. Now I know better, and even worked with Kris on a campaign for Lorraine called Breastmates – to encourage women to remind each other to check.
I'm thrilled that Asda have their own annual breast cancer campaign called Tickled Pink, which raises money for families affected by the horrible disease. Each year, brands create special pink versions of products to sell in store, with profits going to leading breast cancer charities. In fact, my books are always part of the event too – something I'm extremely happy about.