With the sad news of the passing of CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga, at age 38 — 15 years after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer — we revisit our interview with the leading breast cancer charity. 

Charity CoppaFeel! is on a mission to ensure that all breast cancers are diagnosed early and correctly by encouraging people of any gender to check their chests regularly.

The UK charity educates young people on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and empowers them to seek professional medical advice, and advocate for their health if they notice anything that’s not normal for them.

As part of our new Women’s Health: The Future We Deserve programme, CoppaFeel!’s Sophie Dopierala-Bull and breast cancer awareness advocate Shelley Syme sat down with presenter Louise Minchin to discuss why it’s important for young people to check their chests regularly, and the missing education piece among young people: How to check your chests.

(CoppaFeel! have lots of resources on their website, coppafeel.org, to support people in learning how to check their chests – such as their ‘self-checkout’ tool.)

If breast cancer is diagnosed early, survival rates are much higher — if it’s diagnosed at stage one, almost 100% of women would be alive after five years; but that five year survival rate drops to around 25% if it’s diagnosed at stage four.

For young people especially, having the confidence to advocate for themselves and their health can be a challenge, which is why people like Shelley, who was herself diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at the age of 29, now supports young people through her podcast ‘One Lump or Two?’ and her work as a ‘Boobette’ with CoppaFeel!

Learn more about CoppaFeel! and other charities and organisations working to improve women’s health outcomes in the UK and beyond, through our programme, Women’s Health: The Future We Deserve. Or take a listen to our new Women’s Health podcast episode here.