Whether your boobs are little, large, or somewhere in-between, it’s super-important to check them regularly.
The key is getting to know what your version of ‘normal’ looks and feels like so you can spot any unusual changes quickly.
All you need to do is move your fingers in a circular motion over the entire breast, armpit and up to your collarbone. Go from top to bottom and side to side until you’ve covered all grounds. Once you’ve had a good feel, make sure you look at the appearance of your boobs too.
You can do it in the shower, in front of the mirror or while you’re lying in bed. Just do what suits you best – it could save your life.
What am I looking for?
Good question. People often associate breast cancer with lumps, but there are a whole range of other symptoms too.
Look out for:
- Changes in skin texture, such as puckering or dimpling
- Swelling in or around the collarbone and armpit
- Sudden and unusual change in the shape or size of your breast
- Nipple discharge that’s not milky
- Bleeding from your nipple
- Rash on or around your nipple
- A nipple that has turned inwards (nipple inversion) or a change of direction
- Crusting of the nipple or surrounding area
- A new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
- Constant, unusual pain in your breast or armpit
Found something unusual?
First of all – don’t panic. Noticing changes doesn’t necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, but it’s important to get checked out by your GP as soon as possible just in case.
Breast changes can happen for many reasons, and although most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment.
What do 'normal' breasts feel like?
Boobs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be big, small, pointy, saggy or wonky. They might have nipples that point up or nipples that point down. Basically, what we’re trying to say is this: everyone’s version of ‘normal’ is totally different.
What’s more? ‘Normal’ might feel different at various stages of your life. For example, some women have tender and lumpy breasts around the time of their period. Some women have softer, less firm breasts after the menopause, and some women can have heavier and denser breasts during pregnancy.
How often should I check?
It is recommended giving your boobs a little TLC (touch, look and check) regularly. Why not set yourself a reminder on your phone to help prompt you? Trust us, it’ll soon become second nature.
Should men check their chest too?
Absolutely! Although it’s rare, hundreds of men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It usually happens in men over 60, but can sometimes affect younger men too.
So, whether you’re a gal or guy, make sure you’re checking your chest. And if in doubt, book to see your GP.
Go on, squeeze the day.