Being breast aware, for many people it’s a subject they’d rather avoid thinking about, but it’s really important that you do.
Most cases of breast cancer are found by women noticing unusual changes and taking the initiative to visit their doctor
The earlier that breast cancer is found, the better the chances of beating it. So it’s really important for you to make regular checks.
Being breast aware is as simple as getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally. It’s as simple as TLC.
T = Touch
L = Look
C = Check
Touch your breasts, can you feel anything unusual?
Look for changes. Is there any change in shape or texture? Check anything unusual with your doctor
No one knows your body better than you and everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes. There’s no special technique and you don’t need any training. It’s good to get into the habit of doing this regularly to get to know what is normal for you.
For example, if you haven’t yet been through the menopause, you may normally feel breast tissue changes or pain before or during your periods. This is why it is important to check your breasts regularly so you get to know how they look and feel at different times of the month and can notice any changes that are unusual for you.
You’re never too old for some TLC, whatever your age it’s good to get in the habit of checking. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, so if you are over 50 you will get an invitation for free breast screening every 3 years, up to the age of 70. Remember, if you are over 70 you are still entitled to free breast screening, just ask your local screening service or doctor.
When you touch your breasts can you feel a lump, either in the breast, upper chest or armpits? Is there a lumpy area, or unusual thickening of the breast tissue that doesn’t go away? Is there any unusual pain, either in part of the breast or the armpit?
Even if you do find a lump, in 9 out of 10 cases, they turn out not to be cancerous, but it’s important to get it checked out.
When you look at your breasts, is there any change in size or shape? For example, one breast might become larger or lower than the other?
Is there any change in skin texture, such as puckering or dimpling of the skin of the breast?
Is there any change in colour? For example, the breast may look red or inflamed.
What about the appearance or direction of the nipple? For example, one might become inverted or turned in when it normally points out.
Is there any unusual discharge? One or both nipples might have a discharge.
Is there any rash or crusting of the nipple or surrounding area?
Check anything unusual with your doctor as soon as possible.
Being breast aware is as simple as TLC: Touch, Look, Check[clear-line]