Preventing and living with breast cancer: A young French TikToker raises awareness
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French TikToker Cynthia Kå has won her battle with breast cancer and is dedicating herself to raising awareness among young women. She launched her Instagram and TikTok accounts during "Pink October", or breast cancer awareness month, to give advice on how to prevent and cope with the disease.
"Why did I get breast cancer so young?", "How do you tell your date you only have one breast?" In her videos, Cynthia Kå talks unabashedly about her experience with breast cancer.
Diagnosed at the age of 31, she waited five years after going into remission before talking about her experiences online. After a career in events management, she turned to nutrition, naturopathy and yoga after her recovery.
By choosing Instagram and TikTok, she wanted to speak to an audience that isn't always the main target of breast cancer prevention campaigns:
How do you talk about breast cancer itself? That part [of prevention] doesn't exist, unless you go and find it. Except that people don't go looking for it, because the people you want to talk to about prevention haven't had breast cancer. And unfortunately, people who don't have the disease don't want to hear about the disease.
She explains how to better prevent breast cancer using humour. Her self-examination videos show you how to detect a lump yourself. In other videos, she explains the factors that can promote the disease, and how to limit exposure to endocrine disruptors, which are the cause of many cancers.
I'm not making anything up: all the statistics come from research centres. Except that people don't read this information. They look for it from people who look like them and who make their job easier.
Talking about her experience also allows her to help women with breast cancer to fight the disease and rebuild their lives after recovery.
I think women who have had breast cancer need to identify themselves, to take the weight off their shoulders and say yes, it's normal, it's hard.
For me, sharing my experience was not only a therapeutic way of saying "I got through it", but I also thought it would help other people who feel invisible, invalidated in their feelings of unhappiness, because these are things that are not addressed at all in the treatment process. You should know that it is normal to be afraid, to feel bruised in your body and in your femininity.
Beyond breast cancer prevention, her videos are about wellness, nutrition and mental health. This also attracts many subscribers who do not have cancer:
When we know that 85% of breast cancers are caused by endocrine disruptors, for me prevention should focus on: how can we reduce them? It also means talking about alcohol, which is one of the causes of breast cancer that is not really mentioned at all. It's also about well-being, stress, mental health.
For me the issue of breast cancer is not just a health issue. It is an issue that even becomes political, or even ecological, because it makes us rethink our way of consuming.
Preventing breast cancer by adopting a healthier lifestyle: Cynthia Kå's message has already reached a wide audience. In just a few months, her accounts already have 47,500 followers on TikTok and 13,000 on Instagram.