Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and is not exclusive to women. Approximately, 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and about 370 men will be diagnosed every year.1
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer is important as it can help diagnose cancer quickly and ultimately save lives. You may be surprised to know then that, according to a survey by Breast Cancer Care, a fifth of women don’t know how to check their breasts and a third are not checking regularly.
No one knows our bodies better than we do – we are our own experts. With Breast cancer survival improving all the time (almost 9 in 10 women survive breast cancer for five or more years) knowing how your own breasts look and feel, learning how to check your breasts and what differences to look for will help you in the fight against cancer.
Knowing your breasts
The best way to get to know your breasts and what is normal for you, is to look and feel them regularly. This can be done when you are in the shower, using body lotion or when you are getting dressed. There is not a special way in which you should feel your breasts, so do this in a way that is comfortable for you but make sure you check your armpits and all the way up to your collar bone too.
When looking for signs and symptoms of breast cancer, most people know to look for a lump but there are many other symptoms to be aware of:
- Changes in the size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling to the skin of the breast
- Thickened breast tissue
- Nipple inversion
- Limp or thickening behind the nipple
- Rash affecting the nipple
- Blood-stained discharge from the nipple
- Swelling or a lump in the armpit
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you do not need a referral from your GP to attend the Breast Clinic at KIMS Hospital. For more information, you can contact or Enquiries Team on: 01622 237 727.
1Statistics from Breast Cancer Care