In case you didn’t know, October is breast cancer awareness month. Most people know someone who has been affected by this, in fact 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. Luckily, most will make a full recovery. Thanks to cancer research, when the signs are spotted in time the survival rate for a breast cancer diagnosis is one of the highest among all cancers. When spotted and treated quickly, the treatment process can actually be relatively simple and straightforward, but it’s so important that we all check our breasts regularly so we can spot any red flags that might come up.
Because we are generally more aware of what to look for when checking our breasts and more people check their breasts regularly than ever before, the survival rate has jumped from 50% in 1970 to 85% in 2020. As mentioned, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime but thankfully 691,000 are still alive today after their awful diagnosis.
There is a lot of information out there regarding what we all should be looking for when checking our breasts, but we are really sure that the best habit to get into is to check on a regular basis. It’s best to check your breasts as often as you can so that you get more accustomed to how they feel on a day to day basis and at different times during the month. This will be the easiest way to know if something is wrong. Everyone’s breasts will feel different with different lumps and bumps but the most important thing to look out for is any actual changes in your breasts. If you feel a new lump or something doesn’t look quite right it’s always better to be safe than sorry and make an appointment with your GP.
Everyone is different so any change in your breasts could either be harmless or a sign of a more serious problem.
Things to definitely look out for:
Around 10% of the population has naturally inverted nipples but if one of yours suddenly becomes inverted for no reason, it’s always best to check this with a doctor.
Unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding, any discharge from your nipples is usually not seen as normal. Make sure you get this checked with your GP.
One breast a lot larger than the other.
Our boobs aren’t usually exactly the same size, but if one starts to get noticeably larger than the other then this could be a sign of breast cancer.
Breast changing shape.
Over time with age as well as throughout your menstrual cycle, breasts can change shape and feel fuller or softer. However, if one of your breasts is seriously out of shape or you notice a change in the shape of them, make sure you get a second opinion as this could be a sign of cancer.
Lastly, if you’re worried about any symptoms in yourself or a loved one, make sure you make an appointment with a doctor to get yourself checked. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and to monitor your symptoms with the health of a professional. Make sure that you’re checking your breasts at least once a month so you can catch any changes or symptoms before it’s too late.
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