October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of breast cancer.

For HR professionals and employers, this is an opportune time to promote health initiatives that encourage employees to be mindful of breast cancer and the importance of regular checks.

The Global Impact of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, affecting millions of individuals each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, and approximately 685,000 died from the disease. Early detection and timely treatment are crucial in improving survival rates, making awareness and regular checks essential.

How Employers Can Encourage Awareness and Checks

  1. Educational Workshops: Organise workshops and seminars with healthcare professionals to educate employees about breast cancer, its symptoms, and the importance of early detection. These sessions can provide valuable information and answer any questions employees may have.
  2. Resource Distribution: Provide employees with informational pamphlets, brochures, and digital resources that explain how to perform breast self-exams and the signs to look for. Ensure these materials are easily accessible in communal areas and online portals.
  3. Health Screenings: Partner with local healthcare providers to offer on-site mammograms or facilitate access to screening services. Encouraging regular mammograms can lead to early detection and better outcomes.
  4. Supportive Environment: Foster a workplace culture that supports health and wellness. Encourage employees to take time off for medical appointments and screenings without stigma or penalty.
  5. Awareness Campaigns: Use internal communication channels to share stories, statistics, and reminders about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Highlight the importance of self-exams and regular check-ups.

Tips for Safe Breast Checks

Educating employees on how to perform breast self-exams can empower them to take control of their health. Here are some tips to share:

  • Monthly Routine: Encourage employees to perform self-exams once a month, ideally at the same time each month, to become familiar with their breasts and notice any changes.
  • Visual Inspection: In front of a mirror, look for any visible changes in the breasts, such as dimpling, puckering, or changes in size and shape.
  • Physical Examination: While lying down, use the pads of the fingers to feel for lumps or abnormalities. Move in a circular motion, covering the entire breast from the outer edge to the nipple.
  • Armpit Check: Don’t forget to check the armpit area, as breast tissue extends into this region.

Further Reading and Resources

For more comprehensive information, HR professionals can refer to the following resources:

Workplace Wellbeing Professional & Cancer

It’s a sad fact that cancer will likely affect every one of us in some way during our lifetime. It’s important to recognise that help and support is out there. To read content on the topic of cancer follow the links below, with much more to be found under ‘cancer’ in the topic index:

Feature articles – exclusive articles contributed by health and wellbeing professionals:

Dr Marc Robin: The Wider Impact of Cancer Diagnosis on Men – Are Employers Doing Enough?

Christine Husbands: The Impact of Cancer – What Employers Need to Know

Kelly McCabe: The Triple Challenge of Cancer in The Workforce


Concerns Over Employees With Long-Term Chronic Illnesses and Barriers to Wellbeing Support

Women Mistaking Menopause for Breast Cancer – Medical Expert Urges Increased Workplace Education

Limited Satisfaction Among Cancer Patients and Workplace Adjustments

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.