October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month and yet those blessed with breasts still don’t know how to check them?! Checking your boobs regularly is a key step in catching any signs of breast cancer early.
With an early diagnosis from medical professionals, treatment for cancer can start earlier and can be managed more effectively. If you have no clue how to give your bosom buddies a once over, then this lil’ guide should help you along the way.
It must be said that all boobs come in a glorious of shapes, sizes and colours and it isn’t uncommon for your boobs to be slightly different from the other. They’re sisters not twins after all. However, you know your body better than anyone else. If you notice any sudden or dramatic changed to your breasts in a short period of time, that’s when it is worth seeing a GP.
Common signs of breast cancer can include the following:
a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit
a change to the texture of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling
a change in the colour of your breast, i.e redness or inflammation
a change to the nipple, for example, it has become pulled in (inverted)
rash or crusty substance around the nipple
discharge from either nipple
changes in size or shape of the breast
Tenderness or pain in the breast isn’t usually associated with breast cancer. If you’re experiencing pain that is constant and it stopping you feeling comfortable then it is best to consult your GP as soon as you can. FYI most changes in your breasts are not related to cancer, but it is always advised to speak with your doctor.
How to check your boobs
There is no right or wrong way to check your breasts. Many women check whilst they’re in the shower or bath, so they are at their most relaxed.
A technique many women find useful pressing gently on the breast tissue to feel if there are any noticeable lumps and changes in texture. Working from the outside, such as the armpit, and edging their way closer on to the boob and then in and around the nipple area. Some women find it easier to ask a partner to help them while checking their boobs.
Again, if you see any noticeable changes then we advise booking an appointment with your doctor and getting an examination from a medical professional.
Going to the doctor
You are more than welcome to ask for a female doctor when booking your appointment, as well as asking if your partner or a nurse can sit in while the GP conducts the examination. Remember, your doctor is there to make sure you are 100% comfortable and to make you feel safe when discussing any health concerns you have. They have seen it ALL before and you do not need to be embarrassed about getting your knockers out in front of a stranger.
Your GP will then conduct a full examination of your breasts and ask you if you have noticed any sudden changes in your breasts. They may also ask you about your contraception, sexual activity and fertility for example. After this stage, your doctor may decide to refer you to a breast clinic, where you may have an ultrasound on your breasts or a mammogram.
Here is a list of helpful resources if you like any more information about checking your boobs and breast cancer in general:
Making your boob check a part of your routine, will help you get comfortable with checking the girls out and familiarise yourself with what is normal for you. Remember most symptoms are usually signs of something minor but it always best to catch these things early and talk to your local GP.
If you have any questions don’t be afraid to DM us on any our social media and share this with your girl gang, so you can have happy and healthy boobs.
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