In the fourth and final part of our cancer awareness series, we’re focusing on the most important aspect – you – and how you can look after yourself by checking and noticing any changes to your body. Yes, you may have read this before, but read it again. And again. Then share it with your family, friends, colleagues and anyone who’ll listen.
This isn’t about anyone but you and what’s normal for you. The best way of knowing this is to regularly look and feel your breasts so you’re better equipped to spot any changes. So, as the #BeautyandtheBreast campaign told us earlier this month, check them often and check them anywhere, from the Zara changing rooms to the shower!
What should I look for?
According to the NHS choices website, you should be looking out for the following when checking your breasts:
– a change in the size, outline or shape of your breast
– a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling
– a new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same area on the other side
– nipple discharge that’s not milky
– bleeding from your nipple
– a moist, red area on your nipple that doesn’t heal easily
– any change in nipple position, such as your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
– a rash on or around your nipple
– any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it’s a new pain and doesn’t go away (although pain is only a symptom of breast cancer in rare cases)
What should I do?
The first thing you should do is not worry. “Breast changes can happen for many reasons, and most of them aren’t serious. Lots of women have breast lumps, and nine out of 10 are not cancerous,” say the NHS, but the second thing is to see your GP as soon as possible to rule out breast cancer or get the right treatment as quickly as possible.
What are you waiting for? Go and check them now!
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