Let’s talk about breast self-examination
Posted by Hannah McManus, 8th October 2021
It’s October, so we’re talking all things Breast Cancer. It’s so important that we check our breasts regularly so that we know our own normal. With almost half of women in the UK not checking themselves on a regular basis, we need to do more to encourage making this part of our routine.
So how often should I be checking my breasts?
You should get into the habit of checking your breasts at least once a month to make sure you become familiar with what’s normal to you.
Tip – It’s best to examine yourself a few days after your period ends, as your breasts will be less likely to be swollen.
How do I check my breasts?
A little bit of TLC is all you need:
Touch – Can you feel anything unusual or new?
Look – Does anything look different to you?
Check – Make sure you check any changes with your GP
Make sure to check all parts of your breasts, armpits and upper chest up to your collarbone.
What are the signs I should be looking out for?
- Changes to the skin – can you notice any dimpling or puckering?
- Lumps or swelling – can you feel any in the breast, armpit or upper chest
- Changes to the nipple – has it started to pull in?
- Changes in colour of the breast – does it look inflamed or red?
- Discharge – is there any unusual liquid coming from the nipple?
- Changes in size or shape – can you notice any in the breast?
- Rash or crusting – can you see any around the nipple?
- Pain in the breast or armpit – is there a pain that’s there most of the time?
The sooner breast cancer is discovered, the more successful the treatment is likely to be, so it’s really important that any new or unusual changes are checked by your GP.
(Did you know - Although it’s really rare, men can also get breast cancer, with the most common symptom being a lump in the chest area).