Actress and breast cancer survivor Karen Egan urges public to get behind the Irish Cancer Society’s Big Pink Breakfast campaign

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Actress and breast cancer survivor Karen Egan is urging members of the Irish public to host a Big Pink Breakfast this October to support the Irish Cancer Society’s vital breast cancer support services and life-changing research. 

The former member of singing and comedy trio The Nualas, is due to take to the stage as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival with a play inspired by her own experience with cancer, is ambassador for the Irish Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Launching the campaign alongside Karen was 36-year-old Tara Doonan. Tara was diagnosed with a type of breast cancer known as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in the summer of 2022.

Karen Egan said “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. The supports around me really helped get me through some dark moments and difficult situations. I’m delighted to take part in this important campaign to rally people behind those affected by a breast cancer diagnosis. All donations made will help ensure no one has to go through a breast cancer diagnosis alone.”

Tara Doonan said “I found great solace in the Irish Cancer Society supports following my cancer diagnosis. When I was first told it might be cancer, I didn’t really know where to turn to, and I knew nothing about the world of cancer. 

Karen Egan and Tara Doonan urge members of the public to host a Big Pink Breakfast this Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Picture Andres Poveda

“I spoke with an Irish Cancer Society nurse, who talked me through the different types of biopsies, what they mean, what the next steps might be and treatment options. It was so helpful. I also used the website a lot to find out about wigs and what might happen during treatment, it was just brilliant and an invaluable resource to me. I am so grateful that these supports were available for me when I needed them, so I encourage everyone to get behind the Big Pink Breakfast campaign this October.”

Caroline O’Sullivan, Cancer Nurse at the Irish Cancer Society said “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Ireland. Over 3,400 women and approximately 30 men are diagnosed with it each year. It is vital therefore that everyone be ‘breast aware’. Thankfully most breast cancers are diagnosed at an earlier stage. The earlier you are diagnosed, the more treatment options are available to you, including surgery, radiotherapy, and drug therapies.

If you are concerned about breast cancer, call the Irish Cancer Society’s Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700. You can also find out more at

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