Are You Breast Aware?
Even the healthiest women can get cancer. One in nine women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, but it’s not all bad news. As more women become breast aware, they’re spotting lumps and changes in their breasts much earlier, which increases their chances of a cure. At the same time medical science is making hugh strides forward in developing treatments that save lives.
How Do I Check My Breasts?
There is no right or wrong way to check. You simply need to take a few minutes to look at and feel your breasts regulary, so you know what is normal for you. N.B Always check all parts of your breasts, your armpits and up to your collarbone.
What Changes Should I Check For?
Everyone’s breasts look and feel different. For many women it’s normal to have lumpy breasts, or for their breasts to feel tender around their period, or to have one breast larger than the other. That’s why it’s important to know what is normal for you, and to be aware of any changes that are unusual.
Changes such as:
- A change in size or shape.
- Constant pain in your breast or armpit.
- A lump, or thickening that feels different from the rest of your breast.
- Your nipple becomes inverted (pulled in) or changes shape.
- A change in skin texture, such as dimpling.
- Discharge (liquid) from your nipple.
- A rash or redness on the skin around your nipple.
- A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.
What If I Notice A Change?
If you notice a change you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Most breast changes aren’t the result of anything serious but you do need to find out what is causing the change. For further information visit www.breastcancer.org or www.cancer.ie.
Breast screening involves a MAMMOGRAM of the breasts, which can detect early signs of cancer before it can be seen or felt. The National Breast Screening Programme, began offering FREE mammography to women aged 50-64 in 2000. The programme invites eligible women, on an area by area basis, for screening every two years.