It’s a devastating fact but one in eight women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. Worryingly though research has revealed that around a third of women do not check their breasts for lumps or abnormalities.
Like with most forms of cancer, early diagnosis of breast cancer will give the sufferer a much better chance of making a full recovery and, as such, checking your breasts for lumps at home is essential.
One of the reasons so many women choose not to check their breasts is because they are not sure how to. However, performing a basic breast check is actually very simply. Here is our guide.
What to do
The main thing to remember is you know your breasts better than anyone. You will know if they look or feel different to normal. There is no specific technique or skill involved and everyone will have a different method of checking. Just make sure you are thorough.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer says the easiest way to remember how to do a breast check is to think TLC or touch, look check.
Touch your breasts and feel for any suspicious lumps or bumps. Look at the shape and colour of your breasts. Is it any different to usual? Are your breasts sore or harder/softer than normal?
You should get into the habit of checking your breast regularly. Do it when you get out the shower or when you change for bed. If you make it a part of your routine you’re more likely to remember to do it.
If you are worried about your breasts it is vital that you make an appointment to go to the doctor. Your doctor will be able to refer you for the necessary tests and as scary as it might seem seeing a doctor can make you feel relieved. Your doctor will know exactly what to do and you will soon either have the peace of mind that nothing is wrong or be safe in the knowledge you are in safe hands and will receive the best possible treatment. Don’t be too scared or embarrassed to seek medical help.
If you are worried about the tests or treatment or you just want some more information on breast cancer there are many organisations offering support, help and advice. Breakthrough Breast Cancer is one such organisation and can be found online.