Cancer awareness is now ‘more vital than it has ever been’

Elizabeth Hurley visits SiriusXM Studios.

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Actress, model, businesswoman and philanthropist, Elizabeth Hurley, told CNBC that the Covid-19 pandemic has been an “incredibly difficult” time for cancer patients.

“I think because of the pandemic, because of the last 18 months, it’s been very difficult for some of us to think about health issues outside of Covid, obviously. We’ve all been worried about ourselves. getting vaccinated, we’ve all been worried for the safety of our loved ones, some of us have lost people, it’s been a really tough time for everyone,” Hurley said.

“But it’s been an incredibly difficult time for people who have been diagnosed with cancer or for people who are worried about their own health and would like to be checked for cancer-related illnesses. So if anything, this World Cancer Day this year in 2022 is more vital than it has ever been.”

Hurley was speaking to “CNBC Meets” in her role as Global Ambassador for The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign, ahead of World Cancer Day on Feb. 4.

She told CNBC that raising awareness about self-checking your breasts and breast health in general is crucial. Both women and men can be diagnosed with breast cancer which has now overtaken lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world.

The star of movies and TV shows including ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery’, ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘The Royals’ and Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ has helped raise funds and awareness for the campaign since 1995 She said the campaign resonated with her personally after losing her grandmother to breast cancer.

“She found a lump herself, like many women. She was too scared and embarrassed to tell her doctor about it for a while, over a year, and at that point the cancer s had spread, and despite a mastectomy, it had spread to the liver and it was too late to save my grandmother,” she said.

“So part of our message has always been ‘early detection saves lives’. We know that if breast cancer is caught early there is a very high chance of survival, but the key words are to catch it early.”

Hurley said checking her boobs regularly was “absolutely vital”. “Check them once a month so you know how your boobs are feeling so that if you notice a difference you can go to your doctor and talk to him about it and then if there’s anything wrong , he will be found soon,” she said.

October this year will mark the 30th anniversary since the late Evelyn H. Lauder co-created the now globally recognized pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer and founded the campaign with its mission “to create a world without breast cancer for all.” “.

The Breast Cancer Campaign and the Estée Lauder Companies charitable foundation have since provided more than $108 million for “global medical research, education and services.”

Lauder also founded the nonprofit Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993. Hurley said she’s seen big changes since becoming involved.

“People weren’t talking about breast cancer back then,” she said.

“That landscape has changed incredibly in the 27 years I’ve been on the campaign trail. People are now talking about breast cancer. They’re talking about fundraising, they’re talking about treatments, they’re talking about diagnosis, they’re talking about follow up if you have been diagnosed, how should people be treated, what can we do to help you?”

Covid Lockdowns

The star, who created her eponymous brand of luxury beachwear in 2005, also told CNBC that it has sometimes been difficult to balance her family, career and charitable commitments.

“I think when I was a young mother with a younger child, the balance was much more difficult, because everyone knows who has young children who are always transported to and from school and who always make flow their baths for them and having their pajamas laid out. You know, that’s a challenge in any woman’s life or in any parent’s life,” she said.

“It was a juggling act, but now, you know, my son is 19 and I obviously don’t have to hang his pajamas or run his bath for him, so you know I’m enjoying it a lot more now of a real return to business, to making films.”

Hurley said the coronavirus lockdowns have been an interesting experience and a creative time for her.

“I was very lucky that during the lockdown, since the first lockdown, I made three or four movies and a TV pilot and wrote my first screenplay, and for me it actually became a very creative and productive time,” she said.

“And I really think that in a way, even though the lockdown was such a terrible time for so many of us, in some ways mentally it was also good enough for some of us, because it made us made us take a step back, get off the treadmill and reconnect with ourselves, with our families, even though we were locked up and it was so hard.”

She said she continued with some of the changes she made during the pandemic.

“I choose not to go out a lot now. I choose to see some people in fairly safe environments now, in their homes or in my home, and I’m very happy about that. In fact, I’m thrilled about that, and I I feel like I’m actually a lot closer to some people, and I don’t miss the people I haven’t seen so much, sorry.”

Asked if she hopes we’ll ever see a world without cancer, Hurley told CNBC: “I really believe, from a breast cancer standpoint, that the only thing left between today, when women are dying from breast cancer and it’s the most diagnosed cancer in the world, and one day when people don’t die from breast cancer anymore, the thing that stands in the way is lack of funding.”

“We need to raise more money, and in the meantime people need to take care of themselves and self-monitor and see their doctor if they are worried,” she said.

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