Whatever your age, size or shape, it’s important to take care of your breasts.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, so get to know how your breasts look and feel so you know what is normal for you. You will then be more confident about noticing any unusual changes. If you notice a change, even if you feel well, it’s important to visit your GP (local doctor).
Some people think that having breast cancer will cause other symptoms apart from a breast change, such as feeling tired, having less energy or losing weight, but this isn’t the case. Most breast changes aren’t because of breast cancer, but the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment may be.
Around 340 men in the UK get breast cancer each year so they also need to be aware of any changes in their chest area.
How do I check my breasts?
Try to get used to looking at and feeling your breasts regularly – for instance, when you are in the bath or shower, using body lotion or getting dressed.
You don’t need to feel your breasts in any special way. If you check them as part of your usual routine you won’t need to worry that you aren’t doing it often enough. Decide what you are comfortable with and what suits you best.
Check all parts of your breasts, your armpits and up to your collarbone for changes.
Changes could be:
- A change in size or shape
- A lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast
- A change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like the skin of an orange)
- Redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
- Your nipple has become pulled in or looks different, for example, a change in its position or shape
- Liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing
- Pain in your breast or your armpit that’s there all or almost all the time
- A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
Remember to look at and feel your breasts so you know what’s normal for you. Do this on a regularly basis to check for changes. If you notice changes, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
The information for this article was taken from www.breastcancercare.org.uk
To download a copy of the leaflet to keep click here.