How the funds will help the fight against breast cancer
All of the funds raised by the Powering Pink Duck Race will go directly to the Marie Keating Foundation’s breast cancer programmes and services. These include:
The Marie Keating Foundation’s new six week programme for people with metastatic cancer offers advice on how to manage physical symptoms of the disease, as well as how to cope with the significant emotional burden. The programme includes guidance on coping with uncertainty, feelings of guilt, anger and regret, coping with the side effects of treatment, using mindfulness and physical exercise to help deal with stress, and how to make legal and financial plans and find support for you and your family.
Breast Cancer Awareness
Each year, through our Mobile Outreach Programme our nursing team has direct conversations with over 25, 479 people about the signs and symptoms of cancer and how it can be prevented. See below if you would like more information on how to be breast aware.
The Comfort Fund
The Marie Keating Foundation provides support to families that are financially affected as a result of cancer. In 2016, the Foundation gave over 526 Comfort Fund grants to families nationwide
Survive & Thrive
There are over 28,000 breast cancer survivors in Ireland. In order to help cancer survivors transition to the ‘new normal’ the Marie Keating Foundation runs free Survive & Thrive courses nationwide. In 2016, over 450 people attended these courses.
How to check your breasts
One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to learn how to check your breasts. You should then check yourself regularly, ideally every month.
To help you do this, the Marie Keating Foundation has created a short video showing you a simple technique.
Check Your Breasts Monthly
One week after the end of your period is the best time. If you have reached the menopause, check on the same day every month.
Look for Changes
Stand in front of a mirror with your hands in the air. Look for changes in size or shape, puckering, dimpling or redness of the skin.
Feel for Changes
Using your fingers, check for any lumps, thickening or bumps.
Areas Not to Forget
Gently squeeze the nipple to check for discharge. Check your armpit as breast tissue also extends here.
Be a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer. If you are overweight, try to reduce your intake of sugary and processed foods and eat more fruit and vegetables.
Research consistently shows that drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk. Women are recommended to have 11 units or less of alcohol a week, and no more than 2 units a day. Try to have days where you consume no alcohol at all. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer you should consider giving up alcohol.
Most studies indicate that physically active women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than inactive women. The more often and longer you exercise, the less your risk of developing breast cancer. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderate- to high-intensity physical activity.
Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women. Mothers who breastfeed for a total of one year over the total of their lifetime are slightly less likely to get breast cancer than those who have never breastfed.
Check Your Breasts
Unfortunately there is little we can do about some risks associated with breast cancer apart from being aware of them. But you can be aware of breast changes to look out for. It is important to attend for breast screening tests with BreastCheck when you are invited. You should also check your breasts once a month, looking and feeling for any changes.
Smoking is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, pre-menopausal women. Research has also shown that there may be a link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women.
Ways to get involved with the Marie Keating Foundation
- Saturday 2nd - 9th September - Camino de Santiago, French Way - Walk with us on a special one-week trip to the Camino de Santiago. This trip with feature sessions of mindfulness where we will learn to pay attention to every moment, intently, with curiosity & compassion. If you have been touched by cancer, directly or indirectly, this Camino may be the one for you!
- Sunday 3rd September - Think Pink Cycle (Limerick) - The all-female leisure cycling sportive is being organised by the by committee members of the Ladies @The Hub Cycling Group, which are affiliated to The Hub Cycle Club Limerick, with a view of encouraging women to get involved in cycling as a social activity, and as a means of promoting positive mental and physical well-being. Register here.
- Friday, 15th September - Positive Living, Dublin- A free seminar on "Talking to your family & friends about the illness" from the Marie Keating Foundation designed to support people living with metastatic cancer. This talk takes place on Saturday the 15th of September at Nancy Hands Restaurant, 30-32 Park Gate Street, Dublin 8. Register here.
- Sunday, 15th October- Pigsback 5k/10k Run in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation, Phoenix Park, Dublin. Lace up against breast cancer at this annual 5k and 10k event. Register here.
- Thursday 26th October - Survive & Thrive Seminar (Clare) - A free six-week survivorship workshop for men and women recovering from cancer as part of its Survive and Thrive series. The Survive and Thrive workshop will include advice from experts on issues that cancer survivors often face including coping with emotions, managing stress and fatigue and changing nutritional needs. The courseis open to both men and women who have survived any type of cancer. Register here.
- Sunday, 29th October- Powering Pink Duck Race. Help the Marie Keating Foundation to support women with breast cancer by sponsoring a pink rubber duck which will swim in the Powering Pink Duck Race in the River Liffey, Dublin on Sunday, 29 October 2017. Sponsor a pink duck for €4, a Quack Pack of six for €20 or a Duck Dynasty of 30 ducks for €100, all of which goes directly to the Marie Keating Foundation’s breast cancer programmes and services. Buy your duck by clicking here.
Breast cancer in Ireland: the facts
- Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in Ireland and there are nearly 30,000 women living with breast cancer in Ireland.
- Every year around 3,200 cases are diagnosed. The number of breast cancer cases being diagnosed increases each year.
- Around 690 women die each year from breast cancer in Ireland.
- Breast cancer is most common in women from 50 years onwards but it can be diagnosed at a younger age.
- 1 in 10 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer survival rates are continuing to increase each year. There are nearly 28,000 breast cancer survivors in Ireland.
- Early detection saves lives. If you catch breast cancer when it is in its early stages, it is easier to treat. Become breast aware so you know what looks and feels normal for your breasts and check your breasts monthly for any changes. See your GP straight away if you notice any changes. It is unlikely to be cancer but it is only by speaking to your GP that you can be sure.
- Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, also known as Stage IV, where the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body, typically the bones, liver, brain, or lungs. There is currently no cure for metastatic breast cancer. However, there are treatments available to help delay the progression of the disease.
- Reference: National Cancer Registry Ireland, Breast Cancer Trends.