There are still far too many women who avoid doing regular monthly self-checks on their breasts and going to get mammograms every year when they reach the appropriate age. Some women avoid these activities out of fear, busyness, or denial, but others simply haven’t been taught about the importance of monitoring your breast health. It isn’t taught in most schools, and some parents never so much as mention self-exams to their daughters when they hit puberty.
But breast health is so important, and everyone should know how to do a breast self-exam; it could be the difference between life and death if you discover something amiss and get it diagnosed before it becomes a much bigger problem.
Luckily, the British supermarket company Asda knows exactly how important breast health is, which is why it has decided to put breast health facts and tips on all their store-brand feminine hygiene product packaging and encourage women to be their own “breast friend.” Now every woman who menstruates and uses one of Asda’s feminine hygiene products will get the information she needs to properly maintain and monitor her breast health.
The decision was announced by a member of Parliament, Paula Sherriff, at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health Conference in Westminster. She says, “I’m delighted that Asda is putting this public health message on its own brand packaging. This will encourage women to take action and will save lives.”
The change is part of the company’s “Tickled Pink” campaign, which is working to end breast cancer. Asda is also donating £25,000 to each of two breast cancer charities: Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.
Samia al Qadhi, CEO of Breast Cancer Care, praised the company’s decision to print women’s health information on their packaging:
“Spreading the word about the importance of breast checking in this way could save lives, as knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can lead to diagnosing the cancer sooner.”
Thank you, Asda, for stepping up and being the first company to put a voluntary statement about women’s health on your feminine hygiene product packaging. We can only hope other brands will see the need for a change like this as well, so that all women can get the breast health information they need and deserve.
Some things women should look for when performing a self-exam include: change in breast size or shape, a sore or rash, nipple discharge, skin indentation, pain, an inverted nipple, a change in vein size or skin texture, or swelling in the area of the armpit or collarbone.
Click “next” to learn how to perform a breast self-exam.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?