October is breast cancer awareness month, and it is a month to show support for all those affected. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women and men worldwide, and 25% of all cancers in women1. Through research, awareness campaigns and early detection, has doubled survival rates in the United Kingdom and is continuing to improve2.
Breast Cancer Organisations around the world recommend regular checks including, breast self-examination along with regular physical exams by a physician and screenings with mammography, MRI or ultrasound3.
How should a Breast Self-Exam be performed?4
It is very important to regularly check yourself and to know your breasts so you can notice any changes over time.
Using your finger pads, move around your breast in a circular motion starting from the outside and moving to the centre, checking the entire breast and arm pit area.
Check for new lumps, thickening or hardened knots.
Visually check your breasts with your arms at your side, and then again with your arms raised above your head.
Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next press your hands on your hips and flex your chest muscles. Your left and right breasts will not exactly match (very few women’s do), so look for any puckering, dimpling, or changes, especially on one side.
When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow behind your right shoulder, and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move your finger pads in small circular motions around your right breast, covering the entire breast and armpit area.
Use light, medium and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps.
Repeat steps for left breast
If you notice any changes check with your physician or healthcare providers.
Please select the option which best describes you.