We’re all aware that we should be checking our breasts for lumps every month – and if we find something unusual, see a GP as soon as possible. But there are other symptoms we should be looking out for in our boobs, too.
It can seem scary, but getting to know our bodies regularly is the best way to keep on top of any changes and get them checked out if necessary. And seeing as it’s World Cancer Day, we might as well remind ourselves of what to look out for.
Aside from a lump, there are seven other signs that we should be looking out for – if you spot any of these, it’s best to see your doctor. Most of the time, there’ll be another explanation for your symptom, but early detection is essential when it comes to treating breast cancer.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer to look out for:
- a new lump
- an area of thickened tissue or skin
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- a discharge of fluid from either nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
- a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around the nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain is not usually a sign of cancer, but if you’re experiencing constant pain in the breast or armpit, it’s best to get that checked out, too.
According to Bupa Health Clinics, six million women have admitted they don’t know how to check their breasts for cancer – so it’s time to get to know your boobs.
Try and choose the same time every month to check them – after your period is best – so you can get to know what’s normal for you.
First, look at your breasts and check if you can notice anything visually. Lift your arms in the air to check underneath your armpits, too. Then, use the flat part of your fingers to feel and press across your breasts, armpit, collarbone and nipples. If you get into the habit of doing this regularly, you’ll quickly get to know what’s normal for you.
You can find out more about World Cancer Day here.
If you are concerned about your breasts, it’s always recommended to book an appointment with your GP to discuss diagnosis and treatment. You can find your local GP here.