October 1st, 2017 until October 31st, 2107 is Breast Cancer awareness month. For the whole month, breast cancer charities will be raising awareness of breast cancer in the hope of helping men and women alike learn more about their breasts and look out for any abnormalities in the hopes of detecting breast cancer early.
In 2014 there were 55,224 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed. This made up 15% of all cancer diagnosis for that year. With cases of breast cancer predicted to rise by 2% between 2014 and 2035, it is just as important as ever for women and men also as there are around 390 diagnosed each year, to know how to correctly check their breast for any signs of abnormalities. (Statistics from Cancer Research UK Oct 2107)
Knowledge is Key
Knowledge is key when it comes to spotting any irregularities with your body and knowing your breasts is no different. The more frequently you check yourself and the more aware you are of your own body will help you pinpoint any changes so you can get yourself checked out as soon as possible. This is one of the main messages of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Of course, not every change automatically means that there is something wrong. There are many different reasons why your body could be changing or lumps appear. However, there are many different symptoms to look out and get checked out should you be concerned as not all breast cancer cases present as a lump alone. Below is an infographic from Breast Cancer Care to help you know what to look out for.
As well as checking your breasts yourself, there is also a device called Breastlight for those who feel they need a bit of extra reassurance. If you have concerns, a family history, or are worried about breast cancer recurrence, breast light could help you. With a 4.6/5 rating, Breastlight could help you gain extra reassurance that you are looking for when knowing you are checking your breasts correctly.
How To Correctly Check your Breasts
As recommended by nationalbreastcancer.org you should be checking your breast on a monthly basis and there are 3 different ways to check yourself to spot any changes. Either in the shower, with your arms raised in front of the mirror or lying down in bed.
Things you should be looking out for include:
- a change in the size, outline or shape of your breast
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling
- a new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same area on the other side
- nipple discharge that’s not milky
- bleeding from your nipple
- a moist, red area on your nipple that doesn’t heal easily
- any change in nipple position, such as your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
- a rash on or around your nipple
- any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it’s a new pain and doesn’t go away (although pain is only a symptom of breast cancer in rare cases)
Helping Spread the Word.
There are many ways you help to support Breast Cancer Awareness month. Including but not limited to choosing to wear pink. By purchasing a pink pin, or a promotional item from a retailer, you are helping to raise money for breast cancer research as a percentage is donated to breast cancer research. But the aim is to help you help yourself and know your breasts. To know what is right for you and know how your body feels.
*Disclaimer: Should you be concerned about any changes to your breasts or other parts of your body please seek medical advice. Visit your GP who can check it out and discuss with you any changes you have noticed. Not all abnormalities/lumps are cancer and your GP can advise further*
A Collaborative Post.