Today is the day that hundreds of thousands of supporters, scientists and people affected by breast cancer across the UK embark on a common and colourful mission, striving passionately to beat this dreadful disease through funding ground-breaking research.
Just as each year we proudly wear Poppy pins to commemorate the individuals who fought in battles for this great nation, so too must we remember those who have lost, are fighting and are yet to fight the greatest battle of their lives against breast cancer
Unfortunately, the heart-breaking reality is that when breast cancer spreads to another part of the body it (currently) cannot be cured. This painful fact is one seemingly unbeknown to most. Recent statistics released by Breast Cancer Campaign showed that less than a quarter of Britons are aware that when breast cancer spreads it becomes incurable.
According to Breast Cancer UK 331,000 people a year were diagnosed with cancer in 2011 in the UK only, that's around 910 people every day, or 38 people every hour. It's so common now that unfortunately 30% of us will experience cancer at some point in our life.
My son found a lump in my breast when he was just three years old. He kept coming to me and putting his head on my right breast and stroking it. I kept thinking, 'What are you doing?' I had a look at my breast, thinking maybe it was something pre-menstrual. I was fit and healthy with no history of breast cancer. I was floored when I was given a breast cancer diagnosis.
Breast Cancer Care recently surveyed women and men affected by secondary breast cancer, which cannot be cured. We wanted to establish if they were in pain because of the side effects of their cancer and treatment. Shockingly, we found that 90% of them were, many of them on a near daily basis.
I was lucky enough to spend an hour or so this morning with one of my childhood, Saturday-morning, television-presenter heroes, Michaela Strachan. Sitting in the green room before we both went on air at London Live, I had a chat with Michaela about her recent experiences with boobs, cancer and all that jazz.
We all may resort to labelling something or somebody, when we do not know much about it, when it is a taboo, when it feels complex and difficult. Labelling can make a situation more manageable and in that way, it can help - a bit.
The research indicates that high breast density is a particularly significant risk factor, with women with the highest density up to five times more likely to develop breast cancer than those with low density.
For many, these fears don't evaporate when they finish treatment. We spoke to post-cancer patients and found that nearly a third (30%*) felt under pressure to 'bounce back' more quickly that they would have liked after treatment. For more than a quarter (28%) the expected 'euphoria' of being given the 'all clear' was actually replaced by the fact they simply felt 'emotionally drained'.
The bottom line is that cancer is not selective. The familities of both of the authors of this blog have suffered at the hands of cancer. Wrestlers, wrestling fans and those from outside the wrestling community can all be affected. Whilst the charities need support, awareness raising is crucial. So we pay tribute to WWE and their efforts during Breast Cancer Awareness Week...
In just over a week's time, pink will be (hopefully) completely unavoidable. The dawn of October brings with it the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month - a month dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer, raising funds for research into the disease, and ensuring that issues affecting breast cancer patients remain high on the political agenda.
Cancer itself can affect the way things taste - some tumours can secrete substances which means foods don't have the same flavour. Treatments can also affect it. Chemotherapy is designed to destroy rapidly-dividing cancer cells, but it can also damage normal cells which divide rapidly - such as those in your mouth.
Some of the runners among you will be smiling now and saying: "Ah yes, but it's only walking isn't it?" But, mile for mile, a power walker walking at 4.5-5mph will burn the same calories as a runner, without the high impact and higher injury risk.
We know that a delay in diagnosing breast cancer can, for some, adversely affect how successful treatment is. Many women tell us that going to their GP about a breast symptom can be terrifying. When someone is brave enough to take this step, then all must be done to support them, ensure they are cared for and referred in a prompt and timely fashion...
As you read this, I will no longer be here. So, in my absence, please, please, enjoy life. Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it. Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return.