Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Runners take part in Belfast Pink Run

The Titanic Slipway in Belfast was flooded with hundreds of runners all dressed in pink on Sunday.

Men and women gathered for the annual Cancer Focus NI Pink Run.

It's held every October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in the hope of highlighting the impact of the condition.

Over the last ten years the number of people in Northern Ireland to be diagnosed with the condition has increased by 25%.

Cancer Focus NI provide many initiatives for those at all stages of their cancer journey.

Emma Wilson is the organisation's bra-fitting coordinator.

She told UTV the importance of knowing your body.

"For both men and women, get to know your breasts," Emma said.

"At a certain time of the month, pick a day and sit, or lie down and press against the breast tissue and you can feel the changes in your breast, that do take place, normally every month, but if there are any differences.

"If you see any dimpling any sort of puckering details, any hot areas, just check them with your GP.

"The fantastic thing about Northern Ireland is we have a fairly, sort of, high stat in those diagnosed with breast cancer but we have an even higher stat with positive survival outcomes.

"The sooner you can get used to checking your breast and looking for anything that's not usual to the tissue, to your skin, get it checked out.

"A lot of the time as well, it isn't sinister, but when it is you need to be seen really quickly, so please go!"

Meanwhile Caroline Hart is a group work coordinator at Cancer Focus NI. Part of her work involves organising retreats.

"I take young women with breast cancer away for a weekend, away from all the responsibilities of being a mum, of being a partner, of working, of being a cancer patient and just take them back to being themselves.

"We look after them, nourish them and we have lots of fun.

"There are a few tears on weekends as well but we try to bring people together that have had similar challenging journeys to be able to share and it's just magic."

In terms of events like the Pink Run, Caroline said: "Breast Cancer - I've been told so many times by women that I work with that it's not pink and sparkly, and I know it's not pink and sparkly, and I totally get that but events like today's feel like a celebration - of sisterhood, and womanhood, and doing something really positive for the breast cancer community."

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