This year, Asda Tickled Pink has joined forces with Asda’s ‘Together for Ramadan’ campaign to remind everyone observing Ramadan and celebrating Eid about the importance of checking their breasts, pecs or chests regularly.
Supporting our campaign is Talat, above, who was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer seven years ago. She now volunteers with Breast Cancer Now’s Someone Like Me service - read her story below.
Breast cancer can affect anyone, regardless of your ethnicity, gender, or age. Getting to know what’s normal for you is important so you can spot any new or unusual changes early and see a GP if you notice anything.
You can support Asda Tickled Pink’s charity partners, Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! by purchasing a selection of Ramadan and Eid products at Asda.
A total of 11 suppliers including Elephant Atta, Madina, Rubicon, Surya Foods, Desi Doll, Lancashire Farm, Pimlico, Indus, Badshah, KTC and The Mocktail Company will be supporting the ‘Together for Ramadan’ campaign.
Dr Nighat Arif, who regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and This Morning to raise awareness of women’s health, says: “Ramadan is a time for Muslims to contemplate patience, giving, self improvement, and positive life changes through fasting and prayer.
"Through fasting, Muslims re-dedicate themselves to caring for their body, mind, heart and soul, so this is a brilliant time to be more breast aware. Check your breasts, pecs, chest and know the signs of breast cancer. It might save your life."
Emma Betts, National Charity Partnerships Manager at Asda, said: "It’s important to check yourself regularly and get any new or unusual changes checked by a GP as early diagnosis could help save your life.
"Working with our charity partners, Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! we’re on a mission to make checking your breasts, pecs and chests, whoever you are, as normal as your Asda shop.”
In the UK, breast cancer incidence rates are lower in people from ethnically diverse backgrounds including South Asian, Black, Chinese, and mixed groups, when compared to white people. However, people from these backgrounds may have lower breast screening attendance, are at risk of a later stage diagnosis and poorer survival outcomes as well as having differences in care and treatment.
Research found differences in beliefs regarding breast awareness including:
• 1 in 5 (18%) Asian women do not believe they need to check their breasts
• 1 in 10 (11%) Afro-Caribbean women do not believe they need to check their breasts
• 1 in 20 (6%) White British do not believe they need to check their breasts
According to research, self-checking was found to be low among many Black and South Asian young women, with most not believing it was a concern for them right now, and that it was not spoken about within their communities.
Talat lives in London with her husband and two children, here's her story.
“Apart from my immediate family, all my support structures were abroad, which made me feel very scared and alone,” Talat said. “Cancer is not something that is openly discussed in my community, so when I was diagnosed, I didn’t have anyone to speak to because I didn’t know anyone who had cancer.”
Talat came across Breast Cancer Now’s Someone Like Me service and was matched up with a volunteer. “From the moment we spoke, I felt supported. I had found someone who understood my fears.”
Recognising how much of a difference the Someone Like Me service made to her life, Talat decided to join as a volunteer herself and has been helping others for five years now.
Speaking about what Ramadan and Eid means to her, Talat said, “Ramadan is a month I really look forward to and I literally count the days leading up to Ramadan. I personally find fasting a rewarding experience as I feel it brings me closer to God and brings greater awareness of the needy and makes me more charitable.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t have to worry about missing Ramadan as my treatment did not fall then. However, I have since learnt that people with health problems are exempted from fasting, so it’s okay to be unable to fast. If you can’t fast, you can either make up the missing fast when better or, if you have a chronic condition, you can feed the needy for every day that you’re not fasting.