Together we can reduce the number of people, hearing the devastating words ‘you have breast cancer’.

 

 

 


“If just one person, woman or man, reads this and changes their lifestyle to help prevent them from getting breast cancer, that will be a positive thing.” That’s the hope of Dr Bana Haddad, Medical Advisor for Breast Cancer UK.

Dr Haddad, a GP in Kent and Clinical Lead for Personalised Care at Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance, said: “I always wanted to be a doctor and if I started again, I would again choose to be a doctor. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

It was her own personal experience of breast cancer that led her to supporting Breast Cancer UK and helping spread the prevention message.

“A few years into my career, I’d started to become really interested in cancer and two years after that my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was the first time I realised how much the diagnosis and the treatment not only massively affected the patient but the whole family and their surroundings,” she recalls. “I thought, I have to use this experience in a positive way.”

Dr Haddad, who previously worked as a Macmillan GP, realised how important it was for the patient and their relatives to have access to personalised care and support, and this led her to establish collaborative working across the sectors to provide better pathways of cancer care.

It was through her job at Cancer Alliance – and the training of other health care professionals about the lifestyle changes people can make to prevent breast cancer – that she began working with Breast Cancer UK earlier this year.

“That’s when I realised that people, especially women, didn’t realise that drinking and being obese are big risk factors in getting breast cancer and lots of other cancers. People’s awareness of this is really low.

“They think of diabetes and lung cancers but not breast cancer. I just want to improve people’s awareness. If you don’t look after yourself, you could very well get cancer. But at least 1 in 4 cases are preventable so we need to get people to do something now,” she added.

Education is key, and from an early age, believes Dr Haddad. She added: “This is what we’re missing. We need to educate people about the risk factors and what you can do to prevent yourself from developing cancer.” And reaching people from an early age is key, she said. “I’m a big believer that they have to start from school. The children listen and then bring it home and tell their parents, their grandparents. Schools teaching the prevention message is key.”

She recognises that these aren’t always easy conversations to have and remembers how difficult she found it when she first qualified as a GP and had to talk to patients about being overweight. “That’s why it’s so great having charities like Breast Cancer UK that we, as GPs, can signpost people to. I’m quite excited about the upcoming launch of their online breast cancer prevention hub. It has everything people need to know about how to prevent it. It’s up to them then,” she added.

Dr Haddad is passionate about spreading the prevention message “because it’s simple, we can prevent this,” she says. “That’s what’s driving me, why not live a better life if it’s possible!”

She hopes by joining the charity she can help spread the prevention message more widely but especially in communities that are harder to reach. And she stresses the importance of being able to speak to people from all backgrounds about how they can prevent the preventable.

“We know that in poorer communities the disease is often diagnosed later and so is more difficult to treat.. Getting to these people and talking in their language, and I don’t mean their actual language, but using the stories of people they can relate to, that are like them, can work really well,” she said.

And what of the next 20 years? “I sadly can’t envisage breast cancer not being here but perhaps we’ll have a genetic test at birth which will say what we’re most susceptible to getting. And that people are living with the fear of getting breast cancer. That would be good!” she concluded.

Dr Haddad’s final message to people is “take action now, it’s never too late to make those simple changes.”

Find out how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Have you been diagnosed or touched by breast cancer? By sharing your story, you can help people understand the impact a diagnosis has and the importance of prevention. If you would like to share your story, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch here.

 

Help us prevent breast cancer by supporting our work.

By donating £20 today you can help reduce the number of people who have to go through the heartache of a diagnosis and treatment. 

Together we can prevent breast cancer.

Donate today


Related Articles

18 October 2021

Guys tend to ignore these things

"My doctor went all serious and I saw him typing something on the computer.. so I sort of jokingly said: Could it be cancer? And he went: "Well, I'm not...

Read full story

19 July 2021

Constant exposure carries long-term health consequences

"If you're going to buy drinks, buy them in glass bottles rather than plastic bottles, avoid canned food, and refuse thermal till receipts ... simple things can help minimise our...

Read full story

20 June 2021

It struck a chord with people because it shows that, as a family, we’re fighting back.

"I always draw a smiley face on birthday cards. And then I do a load of curly hair. It's just always something I've done, " says Josie Jeffries, explaining how...

Read full story

18 June 2021

My diagnosis led to a journey of self discovery which would last 10 years

Tina Paine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 when she was 29 years old. She’d had some breast pain and felt a lump during the Christmas of 2007 and went to...

Read full story

A £10 donation today can help fund our PHD studentships to carry out world-class animal free research into the causes of breast cancer.

 

Donate £10

A donation of £20 can help fund our Prevention Hub so your loved ones can learn how to reduce their risk.

Donate £20

Your donation of £50 can fund our animal free research and educational programmes to prevent breast cancer for future generations.

Donate £50

Just want to help in some way? donate an amount that feels right for you

Start Your Donation

Donate Now

Make a Donation

Share:

My One Time Donation

I want to make a one time donation of

Thank you. You’re just a few steps away from completing your donation.

+25% with Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer, the value of your gift can be increased by 25% under the Gift Aid scheme at no extra cost to you.

This means that your donation of £100.00 could be worth an extra £25.00 to us, and it doesn't cost you a penny!

My Monthly Donation

I want to make a monthly donation

You’re just a few steps away from completing your donation.

+25% with Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer, the value of your gift can be increased by 25% under the Gift Aid scheme at no extra cost to you.

This means that your donation of £100.00 could be worth an extra £25.00 to us, and it doesn't cost you a penny!

One Time Donation Monthly Donation
Make a donation with Gift Aid

Gift Aid is reclaimed by the Breast Cancer UK from the tax that I pay for the current tax year. If I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay any difference. Breast Cancer UK will reclaim 25p in tax back for every £1 I donate.

Your payment details

Your donation amount

Donation Allocation (Optional)

Additional Comments (Optional)

Stay in Touch

We’d love to keep you posted on how your support can make a difference to Breast Cancer UK and the exciting ways you can support us in the future.

Please tick if you’re happy to receive information from us by:

By completing an online donation, your data will be handled in accordance with the Breast Cancer UK’s privacy policy, and the privacy policy of our payment processing supplier BBMS (a Blackbaud company).

Thank You Wall

If you donate over £50, as a way of saying thank you for your donation, we would like to feature your donation on our virtual thank you wall on our website.

Donations will only feature on the wall for up to two months depending on the level of donations we receive.

You must fill out all required fields before paying.

Processing...

Need help making your donation?

If you need help to make a donation or have any questions about making one, please contact us…

Call 08456801322