21 Mar 2019
More than 1,000 people trained to ‘check their lumps for bumps’ thanks to 12-hour University event
Loughborough University, Loughborough Students’ Union and CoppaFeel! joined forces yesterday to teach more than 1,000 people self-checking techniques in a bid to improve early detection rates of breast and testicular cancers.
Though breast and testicular cancers are becoming increasingly recurrent within the UK, worryingly many adults confess they still don’t know how to properly check themselves.
On average, one person is diagnosed every 10 minutes with breast cancer – and it affects all genders – and there are almost 2,500 new cases of testicular cancer each year with almost 50% of cases in men under 35.
Catching cancer early means a wider range of treatments are available and there is a higher chance of surviving and recovering.
The University and the Students’ Union wanted to highlight that regular self-checking plays a crucial role as it helps people become familiar with their bodies and therefore more likely to detect anything unusual, such as, but not limited to, a lump.
To do so, they hosted ‘Lumps and Bumps’ yesterday (March 20) and from 8am-8pm the University was alive with activity as training sessions took place in multiple ‘pods’ across the campus.
The sessions were made up of a short presentation and a chance to practice identifying lumps and unusual masses on specialist training mannequins.
Liam Davis, Director of Student Opportunities at Loughborough Students' Union, with a specialist training mannequin.
Attendees were trained in both types of self-examinations in the hope that they will pass their new knowledge onto friends and family members of all genders, extending the reach of the day.
Liam Davis, Director of Student Opportunities at Loughborough Students' Union, said of the event: “The event has been really successful, and we’re really pleased with the number of staff, students and members of the community we’ve had through the door. Hopefully, everyone has learnt a lot and will be safer as a result.”
Math student Stuart Smith says the event has given him more confidence when it comes to self-checking.
He said: “I’ve always been told to check myself but I’ve never known what it feels like to have a bump so the event has given me a good idea so I can now do it myself.”
Lizzie Poole, who studies Graphic Communication and Illustration, also undertook training. She commented: “I do check myself a little bit, but I didn’t know what I was looking for before. I found the session really useful.”
Students with their Lumps and Bumps training certificates.
Sarah, who graduated from Loughborough University in 2007, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 at the age of 33 and admits before her diagnosis she had “zero idea of breast cancer” and didn’t self-examine. She only became aware of a lump after her dog jumped on her chest one evening and she felt a sharp pain.
Phil was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 17 after finding a small lump during a self-examination. He made self-checking part of his daily routine after being inspired by campaigns highlighting the need to do so.
Of Lumps and Bumps, Sarah said: “It’s a really great event and I think it’s so important we get to know our bodies. The day was good as it got everyone to open up a little more.”
Phil added: “I think events like this are really useful, a media campaign notified me to check myself regularly so days like Lumps and Bumps are great for raising awareness.”
Phil and Margaret Rose at the event.
Andy Stephens, the University’s Director of Finance, volunteers as a Community First Responder with East Midlands Ambulance Service and occasionally meets with cancer patients who say they wish they’d tackled the problem sooner.
“This year I’m thrilled to say we equipped the #LboroFamily with skills that could help save their own lives.”
Students and LSU Executive Officers at the Lumps and Bumps event.
The event – which also received celebrity backing from the likes of Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams and Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing – was supported on the day by representatives from CoppaFeel! and Phoebe Lazell, the Uni Boob Team Manager and Student Fundraiser.
Phoebe said. “To be able to reach over 1,000 people with our health message at Loughborough University is hugely valuable to us at CoppaFeel!
“It was incredible to be a part of such an uplifting day and empower so many engaged staff and students to get to know their bodies.”
Staff affected by cancer, either personally or via a family member or friend, can seek support through the Employee Assistance Programme. Students are advised to contact Student Services for emotional support by popping into the Bridgeman Building or calling 01509 222765.