October is breast cancer awareness month.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and can affect both women and men of any age.
It’s important that you perform regular breast checks on yourself and encourage others to also monitor any unusual changes that could initiate early detection and save lives.
To help spread awareness, Nuffield Health Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospital and HerGameToo have worked together to produce the following guide.
How to check your breasts
STEP 1 – LOOK
Look at your breasts in the mirror with your arms on your hips. Repeat with your arms overhead, then whilst leaning forwards. What you should see is breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour and that are evenly shaped without distortion or swelling.
STEP 2 – FEEL
Lying down and then standing (many women find that standing in the shower using shower gel works well). Use a firm, smooth touch with the first three finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers together. Check the entire breast from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. Most women find moving their fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if they were mowing a lawn is the best approach. Also be sure to feel all the tissue from below the skin down to the deep tissue close to the ribs by varying your pressure.
Whatever your age or gender, it’s important to know what’s normal for your body and be aware of the signs of breast cancer.
What should I do if I find changes in my breasts?
Fortunately, all breasts are different, and most lumps found will be completely normal. If you do notice any unusual changes in your breasts, contact your GP who can perform a more in-depth examination.
What happens next?
Your GP will be able to assess your symptoms and may refer you to a hospital or breast clinic for further tests. At Nuffield Health Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospital, our One Stop Breast Clinic specialists can provide you with expert care and rapid access to a mammogram screening – ensuring you receive prompt diagnosis, reassurance and peace of mind.
If you need a check-up or simply want to discuss any concerns with a specialist, please give our Nuffield Health Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospital enquiry team a call on 0191 543 7380 to arrange an initial consultation.
For more information, visit nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/newcastle-upon-tyne or search ‘Breast Clinic Newcastle’.