Stand Up to Cancer!

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Actress Shannen Doherty had been diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015. Since then it has been reported that she is suing her previous manager as he failed her pay her health insurance premiums. This meant her coverage subsequently lapsed causing her cancer to be detected later than it could have been. Nevertheless, the star has been getting on with her life as seen through regular posts on her Instagram and Twitter. Posts including pictures of her family, friends and her consistent support of animal rights. However, last Tuesday she took to Instagram posting six photos entitled “step 1” and so on all the way to “step 6”. In these photos Doherty shares with her followers very personal images of her shaving off all of her long black hair, finishing with the last photo of her hair completely gone. More recently, she posted another photo surrounded by friends and her mother.

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@theshando. Doherty moments after she shaved her head.

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@theshando. Doherty surrounded by her friends and family on Monday.

The 45-year-old revealed that the chemotherapy has yet to shrink her growth, therefore she will be undergoing surgery within the coming months as the cancerous mass is still in her breast. In a heart-wrenching interview, the Beverly Hill’s 90210 star admitted that since starting her treatment she can no longer have children and a double mastectomy might be an option.

However, it seems Doherty has not been the only one stepping forth into the limelight, many celebrities over the years have opened up about their cancer struggles. Sharon Osbourne, Angelina Jolie, Christina Applegate and Kathy Bates are just a few celebrities which have undergone a double mastectomy due to breast cancer.

Many celebrities (including the few I have mentioned) are helping to raise awareness of breast cancer by starting up or joining causes like The Pledge Booklet, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre (amongst many others). These organisations help people who are struggling with breast cancer and aid research into finding a way to eradicate this disease.

Health care specialists say that it is imperative that women of all ages (although the most common age group cancer affects is women above the age of 50) and even men, should check their breasts regularly. Doherty endorses this attitude by stating  “you have no idea what the extra time might have afforded you” she explains on the American television show Dr Oz. Doherty goes on to add “the most important thing is catching it as soon as humanly possible”.

Professionals advise everyone to be vigilant when checking your breasts no matter what age you are. This is to detect any abnormalities, it takes seconds and can give you a better chance of catching the disease early. The Breast Cancer Care website offers eight signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

This includes:

  • a change in size or shape of the breast
  • a lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
  • redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
  • a change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like orange peel)
  • discharge (liquid) that comes from the nipple without squeezing
  • your nipple becoming inverted (pulled in) or changing its position or shape
  • a swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
  • constant pain in your breast or your armpit

 

The website also offers a guide to examining and taking care of your breasts as well as more information and support.

www.breastcancercare.org.uk

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Anne-Marie is currently a University student studying English Language and Linguistics with a passion for music, travelling and fitness which she uses to influence her enthusiasm for journalism.

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