Emma Hannigan & Cathy Kelly

9 things you should know about breast cancer

Launch of new leaflet on 5 October

Emma Hannigan & Cathy KellyEmma Hannigan & Cathy KellyEuropa Donna Ireland (EDI) the Irish Breast Cancer Campaign launched a leaflet highlighting the 9 things every woman in Ireland should know about breast cancer.  It is the first time a mass distribution of a cancer leaflet has been done to most households in the country, with a priority given to remote rural regions and urban areas where women’s and community development groups and BreastCheck are actively increasing awareness.

Officially launching the leaflet, Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney said: “This is an excellent idea that has been well executed.  The leaflet is as leaflets should be: easy to understand and visually strong.  I am delighted it will be getting out to so many households and it provides an excellent model for raising awareness about other cancers and serious diseases.”

Speaking at the launch at the Chester Beatty Library, which was addressed by young women writers Cathy Kelly and Emma Hannigan, Christine Murphy Whyte, Chairperson of EDI said:  “Information on breast cancer can be very complex and the sheer volume available can be very confusing and daunting for many women. However, with six people being diagnosed every day in Ireland, every woman – young and old – needs to be equipped with the most important basic facts about this disease.

Mary Harney & Christine Murphy WhyteMary Harney & Christine Murphy Whyte“Our leaflet distills crucial information into 9 illustrated points which are easy to read and remember but accurate and vitally important,” continued Ms Murphy Whyte. “They cover your risk of getting breast cancer and most importantly, what you can do to reduce your risk, what to look out for and when and where to get checked out, as well as dispelling some commonly held myths.”

“Thanks to the generous support from the Department of Health and Children, the National Lottery and our donors, the leaflet will be delivered next week by An Post to over three quarters of a million Irish households,” she said.

“We felt the time was right to get these important messages out to women, because the sooner breast cancer is found the better your chance of surviving it.  In addition, this year for the first time, Irish women around the country will have access to BreastCheck mammography screening.

Cathy Kelly, Jacqui Browne and Emma HanniganCathy Kelly, Jacqui Browne and Emma HanniganAlso for the first time, breast cancer services are now directed by the National  Cancer Control Programme and by Professor Tom Keane, with services concentrated in Specialist Cancer Centres.  Women need to understand that these are the best places to see if you have breast cancer and if so, the best treatment.”

The leaflets will also be available from EDI and other cancer support organisations. EDI’s aim was to produce something that was accessible to everyone. In drafting the leaflet, EDI worked with women at a grassroots level through the Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) and  the National Women’s Council. The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) vetted the final draft to ensure all messages were easy to understand.

Deirdre & Christine with Frances Fitzgerald and Dympna WatsonDeirdre & Christine with Frances Fitzgerald and Dympna WatsonAt the launch well known Irish author Cathy Kelly gave her support to the leaflet and urged women to read it, keep it and regularly revisit it.  Author and recent Late Late Show star Emma Hannigan spoke about her own experience with breast cancer and the book she has written, Designer Genes.

 Download the leaflet (478 KB)

Other organisations have contacted us in relation to adapting the leaflet to suit their needs/languages. If your group is interested, please contact us at info@europadonnaireland.ie or telephone Deirdre on 01 4960198.

For further copies of the leaflet, please contact us at the above also.