Are you really breast aware?
Did you know: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death for Australian women? In fact, over a lifetime it affects 1 in 8 women – men too, but in much smaller numbers.
The team at Family Doctors Plus is urging you to accept this challenge: start now and take control of your health to develop a routine which could be life-saving.
What to do
Get to know your breasts. We find that checking your breasts in the shower, in-front of a mirror or lying down are the best positions to check your breasts. Ensure you are checking all the areas of your breast, up to your collarbones and out to your armpits for changes.
What to look for
The types of changes you’re looking for:
1. Shape and size
Have you noticed a change in the shape of your breast, how they sit, or the size? This is an indication that something is happening beneath the surface.
2. Rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
Is there any redness, or a rash type mark on the surface of your skin, and/or around your nipple ?
3. Discharge from the nipple
Keep an eye out for any liquid, blood or other discharge coming out of your nipple. .
4. Swelling around your breast
Is there any swelling in your armpits, and/or around your collarbones?
5. Lumps or thickening around your breast
Look out for changes in your breast such as a lump and/or thickening that feels different to the rest of the breast tissue.
6. Skin texture
Can you feel a change in the texture of your skin, such as puckering, or dimpling (like orange skin) ?
7. Inverted nipples
Has your nipple become inverted (pulled inwards) or is it changing its position or shape?
8. Constant pain
Have you experienced constant pain in your breast, around your nipple and/or armpit?
If you experience or notice any of the above changes, or have any concerns, it could be an indication that something isn’t quite right beneath the surface and we urge to book an appointment with with your GP as soon as possible. Your doctor here at Family Doctors Plus can advise you how often and when you should start breast screening.
At Family Doctors Plus we are passionate about education and prevention. While the main risk factor with developing breast cancer is ageing, with incidence increasing steadily as women age, the risk of developing breast cancer can be reduced through a healthy lifestyle – limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight (particularly for post-menopausal women), being physically active and eating a balanced diet.