Campaign Uses Lemons to Educate Women About Breast Cancer Signs

Campaign Uses Lemons to Educate Women About Breast Cancer Signs

The symptoms of breast cancer can be a little bit confusing. But an interesting breast cancer awareness campaign that has gone viral after a 38-year-old patient shared an image of 12 lemons, each showing a different sign of the disease, is actually helping women to recognize when it’s time to see a doctor. [1]

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Source: BBC. Click for larger version.

Erin Smith Chieze found a similar image 2 years ago, and she says it saved her life. She used the photo for reference, and was subsequently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

Since posting the image of the lemons to her Facebook page on January 10, it has been shared more than 33,000 times.

Chieze wrote in the post:

“I knew all about self-exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease.”

Seeing her post go viral has been an emotional experience for Chieze, who said:

“It feels odd. I just wanted to write a note to my friends and family, hoping to provide a visual tool similar to what I saw, that just might help someone else. But now knowing that this may reach a much larger audience, I feel grateful that maybe just one person out there will see it, get to their doctor and have the chance of much greater outcomes.” [2]

The image of the 12 lemons comes from the Worldwide Breast Cancer Organization’s “Know Your Lemons” campaign. The different defect found on each piece of fruit represents a lesser-known symptom of breast cancer. The creator of the campaign is Corrine Beaumont, a young designer.

Related: Two Must-Have Minerals For Fighting Breast Cancer

It’s a subject that’s near and dear to Beaumont’s heart, and for good reason: breast cancer claimed the lives of both of her grandmothers at the ages of 40 and 62, and Beaumont couldn’t find much information on the signs of the disease to look for.

Using lemons to represent breasts, Beaumont set out to create a simple, visual way of showing what the signs of breast cancer look like.

She said:

“Some patients don’t want to talk about breasts or look at them. Often women used in campaigns don’t look like ordinary women – but even those with little literacy can understand this.”

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump, but some of the lesser-known signs depicted in the image include:

  • Blood-stained nipple discharge
  • Nipple inversion or flattening
  • Dimpling or tethering
  • An orange-peel appearance
  • Lumps in the armpit or neck
  • Redness [1]

The “Know Your Lemons” campaign has been so successful that it’s been used to educate people in the US, Spain, Turkey and Lebanon, and has been translated into 16 different languages. [2]


[1] Fox News

[2] BBC