Science

Breast Cancer Signs Explained Using Lemons Goes Viral

By Duna Bil , Jan 16, 2017 04:26 AM EST
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A playful, friendly image of a box of lemons visually explains breast cancer signs, helping women overcome their fear of the disease. The breast cancer "Know Your Lemons" campaign was created by Corrine Beaumont, a young designer who has lost both grandmothers who were aged 40 and 62 to the disease. Now the fun and the zesty campaign has gone viral, being shared over 3 million times on Facebook.

Beaumont explains that she was hit by the idea to use lemons when she realized that people do not want to talk about breasts, much more look at them when discussing breast cancer. She also felt deprived of information on how breast cancer can look like when was searching for any data about the disease during the time her grandmothers were sick. She created the lemon photo to provide the much-needed information in 2003 but it wasn't until recently that people started sharing it on Facebook.

The reason why more people are promoting the breast cancer signs campaign photo is due to Erin Smith Chieze, from San Diego, who shared the image on social media in 2015. She was frustrated by a Facebook campaign which urged people to post a heart image as their online status to boost awareness of cancer. Instead of posting a heart, she found the lemon photo, which led her to notice a similarity in her breast and in one of the lemons, The Sun says.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few days later, and stage 4 a month later. She gives praise to the lemon photo saying that people need real information about the disease, especially on how it looks like, not only on how it feels like which previous breast cancer campaigns emphasize. A lump is the most common sign of possible breast cancer according to the BBC, but when Chieze tried to look for one, it was non-palpable.

With improvements in cancer research, breast cancer still remains the second most common cause of death in women. A recent study says that over 1,000 women don't check regularly for signs of breast cancer, and more than a quarter doesn't know that an inverted nipple can be a sign of the disease. With the recent popularity of the lemon photos, early detection of breast cancer signs is made possible, saving more lives in the process.

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