Checking your breasts regularly can be crucial to early diagnosis of breast cancer, which increases the chances of successful treatment.
Stay breast aware and follow these five easy steps:
- Know what is normal for you
- Look and feel your breasts (upper chest and armpits too)
- Know what changes to look for (see below)
- Report any changes without delay to your GP
- Make sure you attend breast screening/mammograms if you’re 40 or over.
Everyone’s breasts are different; altering with age and at different times of the month. Lookout for changes that are unusual for you, such as:
- lumps or thickening of breast tissue
- continuous pain in a breast or armpit
- one breast becoming larger or lower
- puckering or dimpling of the skin
- nipples becoming inverted (turned in), changing shape or position
- nipples developing a rash, crusting or producing discharge
- swelling under the armpits or around the collarbone.
Not all lumps are cancerous – they may be benign cysts or overgrowth of tissue. But it is always important to report any changes to your family doctor or even better, a specialist.