HOW TO CHECK FOR BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS
SELF-CHECK GUIDE FOR BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS
It’s important to do monthly breast checks so that you’re alert of any changes that might occur in the breast region. If you experience any symptoms such as lumps, dimples, discharge, discolouration, or pain that doesn’t go away head to your doctor for further examination.
It’s also important to remember that finding a lump doesn’t mean that you have cancer; most lumps are benign (not cancer). So, don’t panic if you do find a change, make an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR BREASTS
Do these four steps once a month when you won’t be in a rush.
- Arms by side: Start by standing in front of the mirror. Examine your breasts with your arms by your side. Look for changes to your breast and nipple.
- Watching closely in the mirror, clasp your hands behind your head and press your hands forward.
- Then press your hands on your hips and push your elbows forward to tighten your chest muscles. Look here for any signs of dimpling, puckering, redness or changes in shape, size, texture or skin colour.
- Lying on your back helps to flatten breast tissue, making it easier to examine by pressing the tissue against your chest wall.
- Place a pillow under your left-hand side and use your right hand to check your left breast
- Place the pillow under your right-hand side and repeat with your right breast
- Using the pads of your three middle fingers, make small circles moving over the whole breast area
- You should also vary the pressure (push hard and soft) so that you can feel the different depths of tissue
- Some use lotion or powder and others find it easier in the shower with soapy skin
- Pay special attention to the area between the breast and the armpit, including the armpit itself
- It’s important to make sure that you are covering your whole breast area – from your breastbone to your armpit, and from the bottom of your breast to your collarbone
- Men can follow these steps too
- Take your time.