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The 5 Point Breast Cancer Awareness Check Is Vital - Do Your Check Today

Updated on April 18, 2011

The key to detecting breast cancer is knowing what the symptoms are, and being diagnosed early. We list below what you have to look for and what you have to do if you find a lump, have a discharge or feel pain.

Breast cancer is still one of the major killers of thousands of women every year. That’s why it is important for breast cancer awareness to be kept high profile. Being breast aware is an important part of caring for your body. It’s a means of getting to know how your breasts look and feel normally, so that if anything changes you will notice.

Here is a 5 Point Breast Awareness Check List

1. Know what your breasts normally look and feel like

2. Know what changes to look and feel for:

· A change in shape and size

· A change in skin texture, such as puckering or dimpling (like orange skin)

· A lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue.

· A redness or rash on the skin around or on the nipple

· A swelling in your armpit or around the collarbone

· A discharge from one or both of your nipples

· Constant pain in your breast or armpit

· Your nipple becomes inverted (pulled in) or changes position

3. Look, feel and examine your breasts

4. Report any changes to your GP without delay

5. Attend routine breast screening if you are aged 50 or over

A Guide to Breast Cancer Symptoms

Breast lumps

When one thinks about breast cancer the first thought usually revolves around finding a lump in the breast. But although a breast lump is often the first symptom of breast cancer for many women there are a few other symptoms that could indicate breast cancer. However, don’t be too alarmed if you find a lump because not all lumps are cancerous. 9 out of 10 breast lumps (90%) are benign. Nevertheless, if you do feel a lump go and visit your doctor straight away.


Other Breast Cancer Symptoms Should Look For

Dimpling of the skin that resembles the skin of an orange

A lump or thickening of the skin in an area of the breast

A change in the size or shape of a breast (usually one breast may appear larger than the other)

A blood stained discharge from the nipple

A rash or darkening of the skin on the nipple or surrounding area

A swelling or lump in your armpit

A change in the shape of your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast or becomes irregular in shape


Rare Breast Cancer Symptoms

There are two types of rare breast cancer which thankfully only affect a small percentage of people. They are inflammatory breast cancer where the whole breast can look red and inflamed and can be very sore, and Paget’s disease, a rare type of breast cancer that shows up as a rash on and around the nipple. The rash looks a bit like eczema and sometimes is mistaken for that.


Breast pain

Many healthy women find that their breasts feel lumpy and tender at different times but in particular before a period. They also get pain in their breasts; a pain comes and goes after a time. However, there is no need to be concerned as most breast pain is not caused by cancer. But some breast cancers can cause pain, so if you are worried, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women (men get it too) but to date the causes are not yet completely understood, although some risk factors are known. For young women the risk of developing breast cancer is still very small but in women over the age of 50 the risk increases to 8 out of 10 (80%). Nevertheless, all women should be vigilant and become breast cancer aware; get to know your body, learn how to self examine and get any change checked out straight away.


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