Kneading bread might save your life.
As one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, breast cancer awareness is more important than ever. We all know that checking our breasts regularly and seeking help if we notice any changes, however small, is key to tackling the disease at the early stages – almost all (98%) people with breast cancer will survive their disease for 5 or more years.
To coincide with World Cancer Day, the British Islamic Medical Association has launched a new campaign to help women check their breasts – it’s called ‘The Bread Exam’ and it’s a super-handy way to understand exactly how we’re meant to give ourselves a breast check-up.
The Bread Exam, supported by doctor and MasterChef Winner, Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, uses bread dough to show women the correct technique to properly self-check their breasts and detect early signs of breast cancer. The campaign is hoping to help tackle cultural taboos around intimate parts of the body that might prevent women from seeking medical help or discussing the topic.
Recent research has revealed that cancer awareness is particularly low amongst the Muslim community in the UK, as demonstrated by minimal uptake levels for breast screenings. Using medically approved movements, through kneading dough, women can learn how to screen themselves regularly, checking for lumps and bumps that could be a sign of breast cancer.
Knowing your boobs could save your life.
The 3 top techniques from The Bread Exam are as follows:
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On Instagram, Dr Saliha posted a video of her demonstrating The Bread Exam. She wrote: “There are most certainly taboos, and perhaps a feeling of shyness or even shame that exists around breast examination; this can be particularly marked in some minority communities. Additionally, for many women there is a clear lack of knowledge when it comes to understanding how to examine oneself.
“And that is why this beautifully subtle video is so important on #worldcancerday. I really hope you all share it with the wonderful women in your life. Please repost far and wide on your social media and make your own version of the video too. Tag as many women as you like below.
“Let’s make the bread exam a priority people, and ensure that no one we love ever presents with this awful disease late. There are very few things you can do on social media to save lives, but I truly believe this is one of them. Much love one and all.”
Salman Waqar, General Secretary from the British Islamic Medical Association said; “Around a quarter of breast cancer cases are preventable in the UK, thanks to early detection and screening. Sadly, the Muslim community in the UK have lower rates of breast screening than average. Ethnic minority communities also have a poorer rate of survival after being diagnosed with breast cancer. “The Bread Exam” is an innovative tool to help address these inequalities by taking our health into our hands, as we learn how to monitor for worrying changes and when to seek help. By increasing breast cancer awareness, we will help save lives.”
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