Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign organized by major Breast Cancer charities every October to increase knowledge of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.
Although there are very rare cases in which males can develop breast cancer it is predominantly females who are affected and there are certain factors that can further increase your risks such as family history, lifestyle and even your physical makeup!
Like a lot of physical/mental illnesses the discussions around these are not always open and/or encouraged in the workplace – yet the rippling effects that Cancer can have on an employee are huge so employers must make the “first move” and there is a range of ways this can be done:
- Internal Campaigns signposting employees to external organisations – including support for those who may be indirectly affected (such as a family member going through treatment)
- Using your workplace for posters/leaflets with information on symptoms, treatments and how to get a diagnosis
- Fundraising for national or local charities
- If you have an internal volunteer scheme, consider partnering with a charity such as Breast Cancer Now
- Set up internal support groups – it’s always surprising how many employees are experiencing the same situations outside of work!
- Review your wellbeing and sickness policies
Although we strongly recognise that all Cancers deserve the same level of recognition and fundraising, Osborne Thomas is (proudly!) over 90% female staff so we must follow our own advice and start the conversation first!