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The importance of getting to know your breasts

Young women in today’s society are often said to have it all – the power to have what we want when we want. Unlike our parent’s generation we have fewer issues with women’s rights (though not completely eradicated) and are largely free to live in a society where men and women have equal privileges. For the large part, as women our autonomy remains largely uncompromised – we can go to university, study a subject we like, get a job we want – without our sex compromising it – or so it would seem. There is however one part of our lives that remain uncontrolled and an unfathomable force of Mother Nature, not understood by men and women alike – our breasts.

And yes I’m totally serious – whilst breast cancer is affiliated with old age there is still the fact that out of 46,000 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, 20 are under the age of 25. Thankfully the CoppaFeel campaign is hitting Manchester- and yes, it does what it says on the tin- it wants you to cop-a-feel of your boobs; getting aware of how to know what your boobs look and feel like could potentially save your life someday.

CoppaFeel is the UK’s youngest battler in the fight against breast cancer. The charity was founded by Kristin Hallenga who herself was misdiagnosed twice for breast cancer. When she was finally correctly diagnosed, the cancer was found to have already spread to her lower back. Kristin, rather than concentrating on solely on getting better, decided to set up CoppaFeel to ensure other young women do not find themselves in a similar position. The charity was founded in April 2009 and became an official charity in October 2009.

Together with her Boob Team, Kris travels the length and breadth of the UK informing young people to get to know their boobs. Kris decided it was time to flick the switch on breast cancer awareness and bring it to the forefront of young people’s attention as they are the ones too often dismissed by breast cancer campaigning. CoppaFeel’s task is simple, get to know your boobs; the sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll notice any changes.

I had a criticism earlier this week about the charity’s name, “CoppaFeel”, being offensive because it is using the objectification of women and their breasts to promote a breast cancer charity. However, it is important to see that the aim of the marketing campaign is bringing this issue to younger people in a frank, funny way. This does not demean or objectify women, but rather enables the issue of breast cancer to become more approachable. Women can therefore become more empowered and in control of what might happen to their bodies. CoppaFeel’s active campaign work strives to instill confidence in young women wishing to seek professional advice when concerns arise.

Furthermore, there are so many myths concerning breast cancer on whether to look for lumps. CoppaFeel provides a comprehensive guide of exactly where to look and what to look for. These can be found on CoppaFeel leaflets being given out on campus, and at our fundraising day taking place on the 29th October in the Students’ Union from 10-4pm.

Manchester is one of 14 Universities who are taking part in this campaign, so if you are interested in getting involved, talk to any of the Boob Team or check the website

Tags: Carrie Esmond

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