We've teamed up with our Tickled Pink charity partners Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! to encourage everyone, regardless of your age, gender or ethnicity to become Real Self-Checkers and establish a regular breast checking routine.
Tickled Pink is the longest running UK corporate charity partnership and over the past 26 years has raised over £77 million as well as raising awareness. However there's still lots to be done. A survey of our female customers this summer showed that 9% have never checked their breasts and 24% are forgetting to check regularly.
Our charity partners Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! are on a mission to make checking your boobs, pecs and chests – whoever you are – as normal as doing your Asda shop. Alongside this we're also raising funds for breast cancer treatments, education and support.
A number of people who've experienced breast cancer have shared their experiences to remind everyone why chest checking matters so much and to put breast cancer awareness on everyone’s list.
Becca, below, is 28 and based in Leeds where she works as a data scientist at Asda's head office. At the age of 26 she was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer:
"After hearing about the importance of chest checking from Asda's Tickled Pink campaign, I had been checking my chest regularly for two years when I noticed something unusual for me. I went to hospital to get it checked and that same day I was told I had breast cancer, aged just 26. I actually had five cancerous lumps, but thankfully I’d caught it early and it could be treated.
"Eighteen weeks of chemotherapy, two operations and three weeks of radiotherapy later, I’m now cancer free, sharing my story to show that breast cancer can happen to anyone at any age."
Esther, below, who's 48 and is from Lytham St Annes, is currently living with secondary breast cancer. Esther’s primary diagnosis was in 2013 after finding a lump in her breast. Esther chose not to have a reconstruction after her mastectomy and in 2021 received her secondary breast cancer diagnosis.
"In July 2021, I was diagnosed with secondary (metastatic) breast cancer. When I was first diagnosed, I was quite shy, but my secondary diagnosis made me open up a bit more. I think it’s important to share ideas and make cancer a topic that you can talk about, as I want to raise awareness and encourage people to check themselves.
"Treatment days are long, and the side effects can be difficult to manage but I’m fortunate to have family supporting me; my other half drives me to all my appointments. He's always there for me.
"Overall, I’m coping, but I am definitely more emotional these days. Deep down, I worry how long I’ve got. Though it’s treatable, it is incurable. I hope beyond hope that a miracle will happen and that I will be cured."
She said: "I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2013 after finding a lump in my breast. I had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy. I used the Breast Cancer Now forum and Someone Like Me Service to help me decide what to do about reconstruction; after much soul searching, I decided to stay flat.
Kudzai, below, who's 29 and from Northamptonshire, regularly checks her chest and is encouraging everyone else to check themselves:
She said: "In 2015 my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45. Before mum’s diagnosis, I had always assumed breast cancer affected an older demographic. Because of my mother’s breast cancer, I took the initiative to learn more about breast cancer in young people from the CoppaFeel! website.
"I now know how it can affect me at any age, the signs and systems and how important it is for me to check myself regularly. It’s important for me to know myself and to know my body. It’s also important to encourage others around me to check too as it could one day save their life."
Cassie, below, is a business analyst from Sheffield and enjoys keeping busy horse riding, crafting and tending to her allotment. Cassie was diagnosed in 2017 at the age of 34.
She said: "I knew my body so well for 34 years. After successful treatment, though the cancer was gone, the body they returned to me wasn't anything I recognised.
"Initially I struggled, but I realised I couldn’t go on hating my body. So, after finishing treatment, I took up a few challenges which helped me test out my body; like horseback archery and I climbed Ben Nevis with my violin and played at the summit. Since getting my body confidence back, I have committed myself to helping other women find theirs again."
Dave, below, who's 64 and from Bristol was a police officer for 22 years before retiring to set up his own IT company. Dave was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.
He said: "In August 2015, I felt a lump on my chest, but I just thought it was a boil. I wasn’t aware that men should check their chests, but I was acutely aware that, if your body changes, you shouldn’t ignore it.
"After seeing my GP, I was diagnosed with hormone receptive breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and lymph node removal, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
"Having cancer was a positive experience in many ways, as it made me reassess things. I decided to cope with my diagnosis by facing it head on. The first thing I did when I got the news was to register for The Moonwalk.
"I believe there’s still not enough awareness around male breast cancer, I gave a presentation to 2,500 former colleagues to drive importance of men checking their chests. I am also part of a support group for men with cancer called ‘Virtual Meet Up’."
Download our handy guide to the signs and symptoms of breast cancer here.
Three more women affected by breast cancer joined a host of household names to share their stories and sit for a series of powerful portraitures with acclaimed photographer Charlie Gray as part of the 26th Tickled Pink campaign, modelling this year's Tickled Pink T-shirts.
As well as sitting for the campaign shoot, Mikki Phipps from Horsham and Kemi Olowe from Grays have worked with George at Asda to create exclusive T-shirts bearing their own personal affirmations.
Mikki, who is currently living with incurable secondary breast cancer chose ‘Grow through what you go through’ as the slogan for her T-shirt. Find out more here. Kemi – who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 – suggested the message of ’I am a beautiful masterpiece’.
Both designs will be sold by George at Asda as part of the campaign.
Joining Mikki and Kemi for the campaign is Asda colleague Sarah-Jane Christian who has also experienced her own breast cancer diagnosis. Read her story here.
Alongside the three women are a host of recognisable faces from a section of creative fields including film, TV, theatre, radio, food, modelling, and music, many with a connection to the cause including Vick Hope, the Tomlinson twins, Leanne Best, George Jacques, Tigerlily Taylor and Isaac Carew.
Actor and director George said: "I was 15-years-old when they found two tumours and my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a big shock and totally changed all of my family’s lives forever. Luckily, 3 years later my Mum got the all clear from cancer, making us some of the lucky ones. I’m taking part in the Tickled Pink campaign for all those sons and daughters who didn’t get so lucky and for all those suffering with cancer now. But also to shout about how important it is to check yourself for any lumps (men too!), it doesn’t take long and it really could save your life."
We've also teamed up with our suppliers to create several exclusive pink products that customers can purchase to raise money for the Tickled Pink campaign. These include Rimmel Nail Varnish, Coca Cola Zero & Diet, Childs Farm Body Wash, Pantene Hair Care, Aussie Hair Care and Oral B toothbrushes.
Find out more about our Tickled Pink charity campaign here