This photo of lemons is going viral and it could save your life

There have been many campaigns highlighting the need for women to know their breasts in order to catch cancer early. But none have captured the visual warning signs we need to be aware of quite like a photo of lemons currently going viral on social media.

Inspiration for the campaign

The Know Your Lemons campaign was started by Designer Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont, who told Mashable she was inspired by her personal loss.

“Both my grandmothers died from breast cancer. And when the second one died, I thought I should know more about cancer than I do,” Corrine says.

After struggling to find information on what to look and feel for with her own breasts, and when to have a mammogram, she set about creating a meaningful and informative visual representation.

Corrine began researching further and came up with a way to illustrate her message that overcame obstacles such as censorship of breast images, fear of breast discussion and illiteracy.

Why lemons?

Needing a breast substitute to illustrate her message, but ruling out the usual euphemisms such as jugs or melons, she decided the lemon would be perfect.

“It looks just like a breast, it even has skin and pores and a nipple. Its interior also looks like the interior anatomy of a breast,” she says.

While having a mammogram, a doctor explained how cancerous lumps feel hard and immovable similar to a lemon seed.



Hard work pays off

Corrine’s research into the signs and symptoms of breast cancer began with speaking to doctors, as well as clocking up many hours spent studying at the library.

But her hard work paid off. With her amazing images reaching more than seven million people via three online posts, the Worldwide Breast Cancer Facebook page reveals.

“The lemons are a really friendly image. They’re yellow, cheerful, not like the sombre campaigns we’re used to,” Corrine told Mashable.

“I think the reason why it’s gone so viral is because people can look at the images without having to read anything. In one minute people can learn all the symptoms of breast cancer without feeling like they’re being educated.”

Sending a clear message

Corrine’s work has been applauded as one of the most effective ways to promote breast cancer awareness.

Recently another viral trend involved private messages via Facebook asking women to change their status to a single heart image in honour of breast cancer awareness.

While well intended, Facebook user Sharpest Pencil was quick to point out the point of the post would be easily lost by many.

“No one will remember to check their boobs just by seeing a heart,” Sharpest Pencil wrote.

“Maybe they will be perplexed by seeing a heart, maybe they will think about it for a minute, maybe they will think you love them or it’s heart awareness week. Maybe they will ignore it. Likely they will.

“If we want people to remember to check their boobs, how about making our Facebook statuses ‘Don’t forget to check your boobs’?”

“Also while you are at it tell them to check out It’s bloody awesome.”

(images via Facebook)

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