‘The Breast Cancer Alphabet’ informs young adults about the disease’s visible signs
Released by the Alexander Monro Hospital and Breast Cancer Foundation for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the series illustrates 26 breast cancer signs that can be identified through self-examinations.
This National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (which is observed every October to promote breast cancer screening and prevention) there’s a handy new guide for self-examinations, ‘The Breast Cancer Alphabet.’
The animated series from the Netherlands-based Alexander Monro Hospital and Breast Cancer Foundation displays the letters of the alphabet as 26 visible characteristics of breast cancer, including ‘I for inverted nipple’ and ’D for dent.’
The work aims to raise awareness about breast cancer among young adults, which, according to Alexander Monro Hospital’s internal data, occurs in up to 25% of people under the age of 50. Meanwhile, one in five women never checks their breasts.
“In the Netherlands, one in seven women will get diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life,” said Marjolein de Jong, former oncological surgeon, chairwoman of the Alexander Monro Hospital and founder of the Breast Care Foundation. “We see too many young patients come in for treatment at a later stage with an aggressive form of cancer. We know that most people are not aware that there are more symptoms than a lump and that many symptoms are visible if you check your breasts regularly by feeling as well as looking. That is why awareness and education are especially important for young adults. The earlier we can diagnose and treat these women and men, the greater their chance of recovery.”
As part of the campaign, the organizations released a group photo of breast cancer patients, former patients, their families, friends, doctors and caregivers, each presenting a letter of their stories to the press in Utrecht, Netherlands.
The guide was created in partnership with Amsterdam-based creative agency TBWA\Neboko. Hannah Sterke and Nina Mispelblom Beijer, creatives at TBWA\Neboko, commented: “During our research, we discovered how few people are familiar with the symptoms of breast cancer. We all know the infamous lump, but there are so many more symptoms and factors to pay attention to. Enough to create an entire alphabet apparently. The Breast Cancer Alphabet gives both men and women in the Netherlands an accessible tool to educate themselves. We hope this will help to detect breast cancer at earlier stages.”
The Breast Cancer Alphabet is published in Dutch on www.kenjeborsten.nl and the Instagram page @borstkankeralphabet. The campaign will be visible on narrowcastings in 600 medical practices across the Netherlands, while the posters will be sent to universities and hospitals. Various publishers, brands and media outlets have offered free advertising space to showcase the alphabet to a wide audience.