THIS month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and women across the country are using pink power to lend their support.
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in the UK. It is rare in men but can occur.
Every year about 41,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer, but the good news is that, thanks to research and treatment combinations, more and more are surviving.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a frightening experience, but help and support are available to ease the fear and help people to understand and manage their illness.
Early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer and Breakthrough Breast Cancer recommends you show your breasts some TLC (see below for details).
One woman from Wrexham, who didn't want to be named, said: 'There is life after breast cancer. I've been one of the lucky ones.
'I went to a routine screening with Breast Test Wales and found out that way.
'So many people that find a lump are afraid to go and get it checked out, but it's so important that you do and no-one will ever tell you you're being silly.
'The Macmillan breast care nurses are absolutely brilliant. At first I went into denial, but they are there all the way to support you and talk you through it.'
The Breast Test Wales programme is run for women over 50. It is a screening service that provides a mammogram, a type of X-ray which can detect breast cancer.
Some women may be called back for further tests, but this doesn't necessarily mean cancer has been found. Further tests, such as more mammograms, a clinical examination, an ultrasound scan and possibly a needle biopsy, may be carried out.
If the results do indicate breast cancer, the team will be there to discuss the options and arrange treatments with you.
Women between 50 and 64 who are registered with a doctor should automatically be contacted for an appointment with Breast Test Wales. From 2006 women up to 70 will also be contacted.
Women may be up to the age of 52 before they are contacted for an appointment. On average they will be screened every three years from then on, until they reach 64 (or 70 in 2006), when they can request screening at intervals of no less than three years.
If you have missed your appointment, and would like to get in contact with Breast Test Wales to make another one, call 01492 860888.
People who are diagnosed with breast cancer may be referred by their GP, district nurse, consultant or ward sister to a Macmillan breast care nurse.
There are two Macmillan breast care nurses based at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. These provide support from the point of diagnosis and through the duration of the illness and treatment.
They can explain step-by-step the treatment options available and help women make informed decisions.
Macmillan breast care nurses are specialist nurses who have undergone training in how to support women diagnosed with, and manage the side-effects of treatments associated with, breast cancer, as well as providing psychological support.
They are also there to support the family or carer of the individual woman.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need someone to talk to, Breast Cancer Care runs a Peer Support service. Callers can be put in touch with someone who has had experience of breast cancer and been trained to give emotional support and practical advice.
It also runs a helpline service and both services are on 0808 800 6000. There is also an Ask the Nurse service and chat forum at www.breastcancercare.org.uk.
Breast Cancer Care is looking for volunteers for support and health promotion work. You must have had breast cancer and be at least 18 months post-diagnosis. Call Alison Gray on 0845 0771894.
On October 28 it is asking people to 'wear it pink' and donate £2. Call 0800 1073104 to request a fundraising pack or download one from www.wearitpink.co.uk.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer is inviting people to join its Pink Party. Register at www.jointhepinkparty.org.uk or call 02070 250085.