CoppaFeel! is a breast cancer awareness charity founded in 2009 by twin sisters Kris and Maren Hallenga. Here at Cardiff, the UBT (Uni Boob Team) are ambassadors for CoppaFeel!, representing the charity on campus by fundraising and spreading the chest-checking message.
CoppaFeel!’s co-founder Kris Hallenga was just 23 when she was diagnosed with stage four, incurable, breast cancer. Kris, like many others, was unaware that breast cancer could affect people so young and so she started CoppaFeel! alongside her sister Maren, to promote education and understanding of the disease, as well as the importance of early diagnosis in terms of treatment opportunities.
A common misconception is that only those with boobs can get breast cancer, when in fact anyone can be affected regardless of gender. Breast tissue is present in all bodies, emphasising the importance of learning how to check your chest correctly. One key tip is to make your chest-checking a frequent activity. Whether it’s in the shower, whilst getting dressed, or just in bed, CoppaFeel! recommends checking yourself at least once a month. It is important to get to know what feels normal for you, which will make it easier to distinguish any changes. Remember, it is natural for your chest to frequently feel different, especially if you are a woman or assigned female at birth, as hormones fluctuate within your body throughout the month. Getting to know the monthly changes your chest goes through will help you to know if there is anything out of the ordinary.
Looking and feeling are both important, so don’t be afraid to get in there and cop a feel…! Breast tissue is found underneath the armpit and all the way up to the collarbone, so make sure that you are looking for any lumps, dimpling or thickened skin throughout this whole area. Running the palm of your hand in a downwards motion over the skin allows any abnormalities to be felt. It is also crucial to check your nipples, looking out for any non-milky discharge, bleeding or changes in nipple position. It is important to get in touch with your GP if anything feels unusual or is present on one side but not the other.
For a handy monthly (and free!) text alert that serves as a reminder to check yourself, text UBTCARDIFF to 70500.
As a society, Cardiff UBT are trying to raise both awareness and money for CoppaFeel!. You may have seen the giant boob running around Cathays for ‘Map My Baps,’ or our pink stall at the Fresher’s Fair, but there are so many ways to get involved and spread the chest-checking message. Fancy learning more about how to check your chest? Why not ask Cardiff UBT to run a Boob School for your society? Make sure to follow @ubtcardiff on Instagram for fundraising updates and ways to get involved! And remember, you are the best person to find out what feels normal for you… checking yourself might just save your life.
By Grace Tyrrell
Image from adage.com