Tell us a bit about CoppaFeel! | MissPap
CoppaFeel! was set up in 2009 by founder Kris Hallenga and her twin sister Maren. The charity works to spread awareness about the signs & symptoms of breast cancer and the importance of checking your breasts regularly. Their aim is to live in a world where all breast cancers are diagnosed at the earliest stage possible, at which treatments are more effective and survival rates are higher. By encouraging young women in particular to check their breasts, CoppaFeel! hope to stamp out the misconception that only older people develop breast cancer and put a stop to late detection and misdiagnosis of breast cancer by ensuring that people know the signs and symptoms of the disease, know what their boobs look and feel like normally, check their boobs regularly from a younger age and have the confidence to seek medical referral when they detect abnormalities.
Whose idea was it to set-up CoppaFeel!?
CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kris Hallenga and her twin sister Maren. Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23. She had been unaware that breast cancer could affect people in their twenties and knew very little about the disease. It struck her that there was very little information out there for young people, educating them about the disease, how they could be looking after themselves and informing them that breast cancer doesn’t just affect women over 50. Although Kris’ cancer was incurable, she wanted to get the message out there to young people that catching cancer early means you have a higher chance of surviving and recovering. She wanted people to learn from her story and become pro-active about their own health.
What has been your best Coppafeel! moment to date?
We have had lots of amazing moments at CoppaFeel! - we are particularly proud of our recent purchase of the Boobmobile - our interactive van we are taking to festivals across the country to chat to young people about checking their boobs. Belinda gives us the opportunity to raise awareness on a national level in a fun and engaging way.
What is your top-tip for checking your breasts?
At CoppaFeel!, we don't advocate a specific way to check your breasts - what we recommend is that you get to know your own breasts by checking them regularly. We also ensure that we are educating people on what sign & symptoms they should be aware of. We have a number of free services to help to remind people to check their boobs - including our monthly text reminder service (Text BOOBS to 70300), our shower stickers and our #BraHijack labels. For more information on our materials available, head to: https://coppafeel.org/order-educational-materials/
What advice do you have for someone who might be worried they have breast cancer?
Know what is normal for you.
Being breast aware simply means knowing what is normal for your boobs, as they will naturally change as part of your cycle each month. It is important to get to know the normal rhythm of your boobs so you will detect anything abnormal quickly.
Check Regularly We recommend boob checking should be a monthly habit, so you will notice unusual changes promptly between checks. Also, by checking regularly you will build confidence of knowing what is normal for you.
Look & Feel
Many of the signs and symptoms are changes you would only notice by looking at the appearance of your boobs. So we advocate both feeling and looking at your boobs for any abnormal changes.
Your collarbone and armpits are important too.
Breast tissue isn’t just found in your boob. It reaches all the way up to your collarbone and underneath your armpit so this whole area should be checked each time too.
If in doubt, get it checked out.
Your doctor is the only person who can refer you for further examination so we encourage people to visit their doctor after a week of monitoring the symptom if it doesn’t go away.
If you'd like to donate to CoppaFeel! to help raise awareness of the campaign click here