Why it’s Important to Check your Breasts?
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On the first day of every month, we send you, are social media followers, a reminder to check your breasts for lumps.
In the UK, just over 10,000 women under the age of 50 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. With breast cancer being the most common cause of death for women between 35-49 years of age, we want to make sure you can find any signs as early as possible.
The earlier you find any symptoms the better.
What are the signs of breast cancer?
The NHS website writes the following signs, symptoms or changes when you check your breasts. You should contact your GP if you notice any of these.
- a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
- a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
How to check your breasts for lumps
It is really important to be breast aware. Get to know what your boobs look and feel like. This will help you to notice any changes.
Everyone’s breasts are different in shape and size. You might even have a mightly righty. You should get to know how your breasts feel during different times of the month and in your life too. Before your period they might feel tender and lumpy. After menopause, it’s likely that your boobs will become softer. If you’re breastfeeding then you might notice all kinds of lumps, bumps and changes.
Here’s how to check your breasts for lumps and changes
- Feel each breast and armpit, right up to your collarbone
- Look at your breasts in the mirror and note any changes
- Raise your arms and look at your breasts in the mirror
- Raise your arms and feel each breast
What to do if you notice a change?
If you notice a change in your breasts, make a doctors appointment ASAP. The doctor will then arrange any further tests such as mammograms.
If it isn’t cancer, what could it be?
Lumps and breast changes don’t always mean cancer. They can be down to normal changes in breast tissue, infections, injury or something like a benign cyst.
It is really important that you call the doctor as soon as you notice a change, even if you think it could be something else. It will help to put your mind at ease.