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Here's how to check your breasts for lumps, because October should be about more than just pink things

Give ‘em a squeeze.

OCTOBER IS BREAST Cancer Awareness Month.

Coffee mornings will held and issues will “go pink” to raise awareness and much-needed funds for cancer research.

However, there’s been some fair criticism online about how brands and businesses are happy to co-opt the movement, without doing as much in encouraging early prevention.

In short, pink is class – but it’s more important to feel your diddies. Prevention is better than cure.

How to do a self-check

  • Start by standing in front of a mirror and look at your breasts with your hands on your hips (you can do it in the bathroom after a shower if you don’t fancy doing it in, let’s say, the hall.)
  • Next, raise your arms high overhead and take a good look (be sure to check your armpit too!)

What should I be looking out for?

  • Any changes in the contour, any swelling, or puckering/dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples such as nipple inversion.
  • A skin rash on or around your nipple.
  • Any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it’s a new pain that lasts through your menstrual cycle.

What about looking for lumps, then?

You can do this lying down, so that your breast tissue can spread out evenly. Placing your right arm behind your head, use your left hand and move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Divide the breast into four imaginary quadrants using the nipple as a cross. Try to use light, medium, and firm pressures. 

Look out for painless, palpable pea-sized lesions. Squeeze the nipple to check for a non-milky discharge, blood or a lump in the nipple.

How often should I be doing this?

Once a month is usually the standard. Really, you can do it whenever though – it only takes a few minutes. 

Here, I can’t be arsed reading all that. Any pictures?

Sure – he’s one from DES Daughter Network:

5ec91-breastcancer01_lilywilliams

 

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