#KnowYourLemons With This Great Graphic
When my friend Corrine was doing her Masters degree in Design, her maternal grandmother passed away from breast cancer. Her paternal grandmother had also died of the disease, and so she set about trying to design a campaign to raise awareness so that other women knew what signs to look out for, in the hope that they would seek help earlier.
“I discovered a lump was hard and immovable…much like a lemon seed. I knew I had found my metaphor.”
After moving to London and getting her PhD in Design, Corrine had the opportunity to really dedicate herself to improving, testing and developing a global campaign. The Worldwide Breast Cancer charity was formed two years ago, and just a week or so ago, the #knowyourlemons campaign went completely viral when breast cancer patient Erin Chieze wanted to share an awareness message with friends on Facebook explaining what her breast cancer looked like. However, what she came up against was breast censorship and so used Corrine’s graphic (shown at the top of this article) to explain it.
On just three Facebook posts, nearly 8 million people saw the 12 signs of breast cancer which was shared 82,000 times. The story became so popular overnight that heavy traffic crashed the charity website.
On Sunday, 15 January, 2017, it was the fifth most read story on the BBC news website, and Corrine was invited to talk about the campaign on BBC Breakfast and ITV lunchtime news the following day. Media requests came pouring in from around the globe. People were requesting information in their own languages. It was a “class A” viral phenomenon which is incredibly rare. Particularly for a health campaign!
With potentially 2 billion women to educate worldwide, being able to show the signs of breast cancer in way that appeals to a diverse audience is critical in saving lives. With lemons as a friendly stand-in for the breast, it makes it easy to show symptoms without being censored, or requiring people to read a lot of text.
So how can this campaign help women everywhere?
When Corrine researched the awareness of what symptoms of breast cancer we should be looking for, she found that many people didn’t know breast cancer could be indicated by any other symptom other than finding a lump. After showing them her graphic, 97% of people said that seeing breast anatomy in this visual way improved their understanding of what to feel for when doing a breast self-exam.
Check your breasts and #knowyourlemons
Take a couple of moments to take a good look at this graphic, and remember that the best time to check your breasts is just after your period finishes.
Don’t panic if you find something you were not expecting – some changes are completely normal, and fluctuate with your hormones, but if you recognise any of these symptoms, go see your doctor, who will examine you.
What I love about Corrine’s education is that she demystifies breast cancer diagnosis and empowers women in seeking medical advice for anything they may be concerned with. I love this graphic, which will help you to know the process of diagnosis if you do find an abnormality in your breast.
Help us to raise awareness!
BREAST CANCER RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL
Print this off and take it to your next Dr appointment to create your own screening plan.