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'Lumps and Bumps' event is hailed a grand success; More than 1,000 people taught self checking techniques.

Byline: DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reachplc.com

LOUGHBOROUGH University, Loughborough Students' Union and CoppaFeel! joined forces to teach more than 1,000 people selfchecking techniques in a bid to improve early detection rates of breast and testicular cancers.

A total of 1,157 staff, students and members of the community learnt the potentially life-saving skills in the space of 12 hours and were made aware of some of signs and symptom of the diseases.

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.

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' on March 20 with training sessions 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.

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: "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."

The event was also supported by alumna Sarah Dixon and Phil Rose, whose mother Margaret Rose works as an accommodation consultant at Loughborough University.

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.

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."

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.

He said: "Over the last two years our students and staff have given their valuable time to help save the lives of others - first through Spit Happens then Heart 2 Heart.

"This year I'm thrilled to say we equipped the #LboroFamily with skills that could help save their own lives."

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! including Phoebe Lazell, the uni boob team manager and student fund-raiser.

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."

CAPTION(S):

Students with their Lumps and Bumps training certificates.

Sarah Dixon was supporting the event.

| Liam Davis, Director of Student Opportunities at Loughborough Students' Union, with a specialist training mannequin.

Phil and Margaret Rose at the event.

Students and LSU Executive Officers at the Lumps and Bumps event.
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Publication:Loughborough Echo (Loughborough, England)
Date:Mar 27, 2019
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