October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and events and initiatives are taking place worldwide to draw attention to the disease and raise awareness of the importance of fundraising in the battle to beat it for good.

In recent years, the Mater Foundation’s supporters have made an immense difference in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, while also supporting research to help the 600-700 women diagnosed with breast cancer at the Mater Hospital every year. And with Irish women having a one-in-ten chance of developing malignant breast cancer before their 75th birthday, this work is more crucial than ever.

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve outlined three projects our supporters have helped to not only fund, but become a success and make a big difference in these women’s lives.

Lymphedema treatment in BreastHealth Mater

Lymphedema is a painful swelling of the lymphatic system that most commonly occurs after treatment for breast cancer. The swelling generally occurs in the arms and legs and can be very distressing for anyone trying to manage it.

Through the Mater Foundation, a lymphedema service was funded in BreastHealth Mater, and trained therapists form part of a multi-disciplinary team that assess the condition and promote self-management with a focus on always increasing quality of life. The foundation also funded an important awareness-raising event around lymphedema.

Breast Cancer Survivor AppBreast Cancer Survivor App

For women who are going through, or have already completed, treatment for breast cancer, a new app that provides advice and guidance in recovery was developed with support from the foundation.

Called ‘Breast Cancer Survivor App’, it provides information on simple steps patients can take to remain healthy and aid recovery. It includes information about diet, exercise and sleep and acts as an aid to healthier living.

“It shows the simple things you can do in your daily life that are going to improve or reduce your chance of having a problem in the future,” according to Prof Malcolm Kell, who was heavily involved in the app’s development.

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day – BRA Day

The aim of BRA Day is to promote education, access and awareness to women considering post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

At the Mater Hospital, a BRA Day information evening is organised and is a space for women to come together to learn more about breast reconstruction. The Show and Tell Lounge during the event is a private, women-only space for those who are thinking of reconstructive surgery. Here, they can see first-hand the results from women who have been through it. So too, plastic surgeons from the Mater Hospital present the process of breast reconstruction and answer questions.

This year, a BRA Day event will take place on 19 October from 7-9 pm in the Catherine McAuley Centre on Nelson St., Dublin 7 and you can register for your free ticket on the event’s Eventbrite page or call (01) 8303482.

Your support is crucial

As always, such wonderful services such as those listed above could not be achieved without the generosity of our supporters. You can donate towards the future of breast cancer research and care and be a real part of improving breast cancer patient’s lives at the Mater Hospital.

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