It can be hard to know how to help or keep aware about breast cancer, something which effects many of us in one way or another. Here are six ways to think pink and offer support.
Recent figures show that one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some stage in their life and one in every 1,000 men will also be diagnosed. Over 3,700 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Ireland. With this in mind, here are some ways to stay informed and also offer support …
1. Listen to The Marie Keating Foundation Podcast
The Foundation supports people at every step of a breast cancer journey which is why they are launching a new series of their “Talks Cancer” podcast. Helen Forristal, director of nursing services at the Marie Keating Foundation hosts this informative and impactful five-episode patient-led series. This season focuses on honest discussions with two groups of women. Three women living with metastatic breast cancer and three women surviving and thriving after localised breast cancer. These women share valuable insights and what they want others to know that may be hugely supportive to anyone newly diagnosed.
The series’ guests include Niamh Byrne and Carol Spillane from the breast cancer clinic in St James Hospital, Aine Murphy, Lisa Dowling and Deirdre Digan from the Foundation’s “Positive Living” group for those living with metastatic cancer and Erica Tierney, Paula Gleeson and Siobhan Freeman who took part in the Foundation’s “Survive and Thrive” programme. The series covers facts, stats, signs and symptoms, when to go to your GP, the importance of a family’s medical history, and the influence of Covid-19. To listen to episode one of “Talking Breast Cancer” visit www.mariekeating.ie
2. Gift this new collection from Ground Wellbeing
Peigín Crowley, founder of Ground Wellbeing, is known for her sustainable products – from gorgeous balms to pillow sprays that soothe, comfort and uplift. Her new collection, BARRÓG – The Minding – €120, for Cancer Care has been carefully formulated for those going through cancer. Developed to not only bring comfort and specific relief to compromised skin in a safe way, but also to support wellbeing, encouraging calm and rest at a time where sleep is needed most.
“To introduce the collection we have designed four gift boxes, ranging from The Journey to The Minding – which includes Rest Skin Relief Face & Body Oil, Calm Scalp Relief Oil Protect Nail & Cuticle Oil, Nourish Superseed Skin Relief and Soothing Hand & Foot Balm; www.groundwellbeing.com @ground_wellbeing
3. Book this special Afternoon Tea
There’s nothing like gathering friends together for a stylish afternoon tea and even better when you’re helping to raise funds for charity. To support the National Breast Cancer Research Institute in Galway, the gHotel, Galway has a special pink-themed afternoon tea, with a donation from each afternoon tea going to the Institute in Galway. At the end of October, the gHotel will match the amount donated by customers and present the full amount to the Institute.
As for tea, its sweet and savoury items are inspired by the colour pink so on the menu guests will find things such as goats cheese with raspberry and pink peppercorns; chicken and beetroot terrine on brioche followed by treats including raspberry and pistachio Battenburg cake and strawberry choux and White Forest gateaux. This is served with Ronnefeldt speciality teas, or a glass of pink Taittinger champagne. To book the afternoon tea visit www.theghotel.ie @theghotel
4. Send a gift from The Thoughtful Shopper
One way to reach out to those with cancer is to send them a special gift box to cheer and pamper them through the tough times. “It’s about solidarity,” says Agnes Maher of The Thoughtful Shopper, which puts together the gift boxes known as the Indulgence Edit for Breast Cancer Ireland. “I set up this service after one of our friends developed breast cancer during the Covid lockdown. We couldn’t do the usual things like taking the kids for sleepovers or driving her for chemo, so we made up hampers for her instead. We filled it with things that would bring her physical comfort in our absence – a cashmere blanket for when she got cold during her ice cap treatment, books, candles and non-toxic room diffusers. When she was at her lowest, mid-way through the treatment, we got a bespoke piece of word art made to make her laugh, silk pillowcases, and pyjamas to make her feel lovely in bed. Her last basket was things to get her ready to face the world again after she was finished. Jewellery, all her nice creams and make ups and things that would give her confidence.”
All of the suppliers are producing items in a way that is sustainable, ethical and kind says Agnes, who is donating ten per cent of sales to Breast Cancer Ireland; www.thethoughfulshopper.ie @thethoughtfulshopper
5. Invest in this Cult Serum
In 1992, Evelyn H Lauder co-created the Pink Ribbon and launched The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign. The proceeds of this limited edition of Estée Lauder’s cult Advanced Night Repair Synchonrized Multi-Recovery Complex, €100, goes towards the campaign, which has so far raised more than $99m for global research and supports more than 60 organisations globally. To find out more about this visit www.ELCompanies.com/BreastCancerCampaign. The serum is available to purchase at www.brownthomas.com.
6. A Helpful Informative Video
CarePlus Pharmacy has partnered with Breast Cancer Ireland this year. An animated video showing how and when to check for breast abnormalities is a major feature of this year’s campaign. Lee-Ann Hyland from CarePlus Pharmacy says “We wanted to help women get a better understanding of what’s normal for them and when they need to get something checked. Breast Cancer Ireland has been doing amazing work in this area and we’re proud to be supporting them”. Visit @carepluspharmacy on Instagram to discover the company’s campaign material on breast cancer.