At first glance, the bright and colorful Know Your Lemons poster may not appear to be dealing with an issue of life or death. A closer look, however, reveals the severity of the situation at hand. Created by the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization, the clever image uses manipulated photos of lemons to illustrate the tell-tale physical signs of breast cancer.
Each lemon represents a breast and features abnormalities associated with cancerous growths, from the sudden presence of a thick mass or a small bump to recently developed dimples or a new indentation. Some of the lemons’ ailments are obvious and visually alter the skin, while others are a bit less conspicuous. Though the subject matter is undeniably nerve-wracking, the campaign’s aim is to educate, not scare. Although all 12 of the symptoms can indicate cancerous tissue, they can also be completely benign. “Don’t panic, some changes are normal,” the poster’s preface reads. “But if it stays around be smart—show a doctor.”
Though several years old, the Know Your Lemons poster recently went viral thanks to a social media post by Erin Smith Chieze, a breast cancer survivor who had utilized it to recognize her own symptoms. Unhappy with the lackluster efforts of other online trends intended to raise awareness, and eager to inform women what exactly they should be looking out for, Chieze shared the image on Facebook. Since sharing the image, the post has garnered 22,000 likes and over 40,000 shares.
In addition to the “What Breast Cancer Can Look and Feel Like” poster, the campaign has also created other infographics, including one that serves as instructions for self-given breast exams as well as one that details what to do if you find something suspicious. You can learn much more about the crucial campaign on Worldwide Breast Cancer’s website.