Stick it to Cancer with Victoria Buckley


In October 2021, I was feeling my chest in the bath when I noticed a small lump. I went to the doctors the very next day and despite being 32 and feeling fit and well – it turned out to be breast cancer (after a slightly complicated journey with a few twists and turns along the way!).

We all know the statistic that cancer happens to one in two – but nothing can prepare you for the shock of sitting in that chair and hearing those words.

It really can happen to literally anyone, at any age, and our best defence is to take up every opportunity there is for formal checks and scans, as well as regularly checking yourself so you can get yourself to the doctors pronto at the first sign any lump, bump or change. (It really does pay to be a hypochondriac when it comes to these things!)

The bathroom in my opinion, is the perfect place to check in with your body. It’s where my own cancer story began. And where the #stickittocancer idea was born…

Stick it to Cancer with Victoria Buckley

What is Stick it to Cancer?

  • If you’ve read the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear – you’ll be familiar with the concept that one of the best ways to build a new habit, is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behaviour on top, also known as “habit stacking.”
  • The stickers are designed to be your visual cue to “stack”. i.e. encouraging you to build having a look and feel of your body, into an existing bathroom habit, like washing your body.
  • Many people tell me they mean to check but they forget. Perhaps they see a cancer awareness campaign while out and about – but they can’t check there and then, and by the time they’re home, it slips their mind. I’m hopeful the bathroom stickers will be everyone’s visual reminder, at the opportune time, to check yourself there and then.
  • They say the ideal frequency to check is monthly so it’s the same time in your cycle, but in my opinion, the more you check the better! So why not stick the stickers to a body scrub or hair mask you use fortnightly and build your checks into an existing pamper routine? Every time you use that product – you take the opportunity to check.
  • Even if you don’t have a product you use infrequently like this, even just sticking a sticker onto an every day body wash, shampoo or even your toothpaste – might just give you the nudge you need to take a look regularly.
  • In the bathroom – you’re also likely to be by a mirror, so as well as having a feel, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at yourself properly and check everything looks normal and as it should be.
  • I also get feedback from people that they’re worried they don’t know how to check. I’d encourage you to check out the brilliant resources on sites like CoppaFeel, Cancer Research and Make 2nds Count – but my main advice is not to overthink it too much. Checking regularly and consistently is the most important thing. Have a good feel of your chest and armpits; check in with yourself on anything else unusual (e.g. any prolonged pain or itch); and take a look in the mirror to check nothing looks unusual. The more often you look and feel, the more you’ll be in tune with yourself and know if something’s not right.
  • While this idea was inspired by breast cancer – the bathroom’s a good place to check more broadly for other cancers.  For example, while I wouldn’t stick a sticker on the toilet for hygiene reasons – if you’ve got a sticker on a nearby body wash or hand wash, it might just catch your eye at the right time and remind you to take a look after going to the toilet for anything suspect. Men might also like to use the stickers as a visual reminder to check themselves downstairs for any lumps and bumps! Essentially - the bathroom feels like a great place to have a full body MOT, and I hope the stickers help remind you and keep you accountable to do it often.

Thankfully, my cancer was treatable and the chemotherapy and immunotherapy that followed, (and the immunotherapy I continue to have every three weeks); means that my scans have now been clear for around 18 months and counting.

So get sticking, get looking, get feeling, get pampering. Build new habits into existing ones. And #stickittocancer. It might just save your life.

A huge thank you to the wonderful team at Coconut Lane who were supportive of my #stickittocancer idea from the off and helped me bring this to life. I’m thrilled they’ll be including two stickers in every single Coconut Lane order this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help us to reach as many people and as many bathrooms as possible.

Stick it to Cancer with Victoria Buckley

Read 'Vicky's guide on how to be the best friend or family member to someone who's fighting Cancer!'