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Checking Your Breasts

Checking Your Breasts – What Should You Be Looking For?

The money we help to raise for breast cancer now will go towards making sure nobody needs to die from the disease. Part of this is about early detection. So, what should we be looking for?

The best way to catch any changes in the breast area is to make regular checks. Get to know your breasts. Look in the mirror and make a mental note of their shape and appearance. The better you are at examining your breasts the better you will be at noticing any changes.

What To Look For

See if your skin is dimpled or puckered around the breast, or if there is any redness or inflammation. This could be a sign that there may be something wrong.

Check your nipples. Is there any crusting or discharge you’ve not seen before? Is there a rash around your nipples?

Checking For Lumps

Checking your breasts is just a matter of being able to feel your skin and notice any changes. You can do this in any way you feel comfortable. One way is to lie down on your back. Place your hand behind your head and then use your other to feel your breast, underarm and the upper chest area for lumps or swelling.  

Use the tips of your fingers placed together and work around all the areas in a slow circular motion, feeling lightly as you go. If you feel anything unusual see your doctor immediately. 

Some women have lumpy breast tissue and as you examine your breast regularly you’ll come to recognise this. It isn’t necessarily breast cancer. It could be a benign breast lump like a cyst. But, if you feel a hard lump or one that you haven’t felt before then don’t leave it. 

At the Doctors

Don’t put off going for a check-up because you feel embarrassed. You can ask for a woman doctor if you feel more comfortable. Catching breast cancer early is the key to a better survival rate. Nowadays, 87% of women who are treated for breast cancer live for 5 years or more. That’s 9 out of 10 people.

Try to check your breasts regularly and don’t think you won’t be able to do it properly. You can, it’s just a matter of getting to know how your breasts look and feel. 

image:istock.com/Staras

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