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Why spotting cancer early saves lives

Love yourself and be your own bosom buddy!

Checking your breasts regularly increases the chances of finding any changes early. If they turn out to be cancer, spotting it early increases the likelihood of needing less severe treatments that don’t cause hair loss or result in the removal of your breast.  Nine out of 10 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage survive.  

The 'small c' campaign is alerting people to the warning signs of cancer and the need to go to the doctor without delay. It is designed to help people recognise symptoms when cancer is still small and more vulnerable to treatment.  

Research published in the International Journal of Cancer showed that nearly a thousand deaths from breast cancer could be avoided each year through early diagnosis. The five year survival rates for breast cancer below show that survival rates are higher when the cancer is diagnosed early.

Breast cancer five year survival rates

Stage at diagnosis Survival rate
Stage I 91.9%
Stage II 72.9%
Stage III 50.3%
Stage IV 13%
Unknown 65.8%

Source: West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit, 2009

Find out more details about the 'small c' campaign and the importance of early diagnosis. 

For the latest breast cancer statistics, visit Cancer Research UK's website.