Breast cancer awareness – the importance of knowing and understanding your own body
Last month was dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, a campaign designed to help improve awareness and understanding of the most prevalent form of cancer in the UK. According to a recent article published by the BBC, one person is diagnosed with breast cancer every ten minutes, and the vast majority of those diagnosed are women.
Even more alarming, according to statistics published by breastcancercare.org.uk suggest that 5,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer during breast cancer awareness month alone.
If you’re considering having cosmetic surgery undertaken on your breasts, the chances are you’re paying a fair bit of attention to their existing look and feel, and are therefore more likely to notice any changes or differences. This heightened awareness is something all women could benefit from adopting, whether they are planning a breast enhancement, reduction, uplift – or even if they are completely happy with their natural breasts and are not in the market for surgical enhancement. Regular personal checks of women’s own breasts are very important to ensure that any changes do not go unmissed.
As reported by the BBC, this handy checklist has been designed to help women know what they should be checking for and when they should get in touch with their GP:
Recommended routine breast cancer checks
- While showering, make time to check both of your breasts thoroughly
- At the same time make sure you’re checking under your arms, as the armpits are also areas where tell-tale signs can present themselves
- If you’re older (aged 50+), routine screening is available so check what is available for you locally
- Look at your breasts in the mirror to check that they visually appear the same (not as each other necessarily, but the same as they have been)
Time to raise the alarm if:
- You feel a lump or can detect thickening in the breast tissue
- One or both of your breasts change size or shape
- A discharge appears from the nipple, possibly containing blood
- You find a lump or painful area in either of your armpits
- The surface of one of both of your breasts looks and feels like it is dimpled
- A rash appears around the nipple area
- One or both of your nipples change size, shape or prominence (for example, maybe becoming inverted)
The key message from breast care charities and organisations is get to know what’s normal for you. Any changes at all need to be checked out sooner rather than later. The greater awareness we have of our breasts, the greater likelihood of treating and surviving one of Britain’s most common cancers.