45% 'don't often check breasts'

Almost half of women do not regularly check their breasts for possible cancerous tumours, a poll by charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer suggests.

Pop singer Anastacia undergoes double mastectomy

Pop star Anastacia performing in Germany in December 2012
Anastacia performing in Germany in December 2012 Credit: Revierfoto/DPA/Press Association Images

Pop star Anastacia has undergone a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time earlier this year.

The US singer, whose hits include I'm Outta Love, cancelled her planned European tour in February after the second diagnosis. She was first diagnosed with the disease in 2003.

Anastacia, 45, is in the final stages of recovery following her surgery, and said in a statement to fans that she wanted to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a cause "particularly close to my heart".

"It has been an intense journey but l am feeling great and ready to start the next chapter," she said. "Early detection has saved my life twice. I will continue to battle and lend my voice in anyway I can."

In May, film star Angelina Jolie announced that she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning that she had a 87% chance of developing breast cancer.

Anastacia's announcement follows a report from a leading cancer charity which says that up to 185,000 women could die from breast cancer by 2030 if action is not taken over critical research gaps.

Read more: 45% 'don't often check breasts'

Cancer charity: 185,000 could die if research gaps not closed

The report says research into genetic factors that lead to breast cancer is needed. Credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A report by a leading cancer charity says up to 185,000 women could die from breast cancer by 2030 if action over critical research gaps is not taken.

Breast Cancer Campaign has identified ten fundamental research gaps where action is needed.

The report also claims that breast cancer can be "overcome" by 2050 if its recommendations are followed.

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'Early diagnosis saves lives' says health campaigner

Early diagnosis of breast cancer is the "key to saving lives" of those battling the disease, said leading health campaigner.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer's head of public health, Eluned Hughes, was speaking as part of a campaign to get women to check their breasts regularly.

It's shocking that despite being the most common cancer in the UK, nearly half of British women do not check their breasts regularly, and nearly all of them still cannot think of five common signs and symptoms of breast cancer without prompting...

What's interesting - and encouraging - is that three quarters of our survey respondents could pick out five signs and symptoms when presented with a list; if every woman in the UK had one of our free TLC guides in their handbag, just imagine what a difference this would make to breast awareness.

– Breakthrough Breast Cancer's head of public health Eluned Hughes

'Under a third' of mums talk about breast cancer

Just under a third of mothers have not spoken to their daughters about breast cancer or explained how to spot the symptoms, data has shown.

Beauty company Avon found almost 31% have never spoken with their daughters about breast cancer.

The five most common signs of breast cancer are:

  • A lump
  • A change to skin texture
  • A rash or crusting
  • A change in appearance of the nipple
  • Nipple discharge

Half of women 'do not check their breasts regularly'

Almost half of women do not check their breasts regularly for possible cancerous tumours, a poll conducted by Breakthrough Breast Cancer suggests.

Almost half of women do not check their breasts regularly, according to a new poll. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Read: Scotland cancer campaign pictures banned in New Zealand

Most cases of the disease are found by women noticing unusual changes in their breasts but 45% do not check themselves on a regular basis, according to the survey.

Only 9% felt "very confident" they would notice a change when checking their breasts, according to the poll which was conducted on 1,000 women from across the UK.

Some 6% of respondents could identify five or more common symptoms of the disease without any prompting but when presented with a list, 75% were able to correctly pick five symptoms.

Read: Beverley Craven's daughters to each have double mastectomies