breast cancer ribbonOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and in honor of all survivors, fighters, and those who have passed, this month we’ll be posting lots of info about breast health, how to reduce your risk, how you can support research to find a cure and more articles about breasts in general – which is always a good thing! We’ll also be trying to raise money to give to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – we’ll announce a donation link on the website in a few days! We’d love to hear any personal stories if any of you have survived or are going through breast cancer. Or perhaps someone close to you has been affected by it. Email us at beutifulmagazine@gmail.com and we’ll post your stories! For now, we want to show you how to perform a breast self-examination, which is really important as being familiar with your breasts can signal to you when something is wrong.

How To Perform A Breast Examination

According to a survey that BreastTalk.co.uk ran in 2005, only 8% of women say they examine their breasts on a regular basis. Around 20% said they self examined once a year and 75% of women said they were not sure what they had to look for when examining their breasts. What age do I start self examination? Even though 80% of Breast Cancer is found in women aged over 50, the younger the better. As soon as you have breasts, start looking at them and finding out how they feel. This way in later life you’ll notice changes a little easier. If you are in your 50’s already, then you should be doing a self examination every month. The Five Point Breast Examination Code 1. Know what is normal for your breasts. 2. Know what changes to look and feel for. 3. Look and feel your breasts regularly. 4. Tell your General Practitioner about changes straight away. 5. Get regular breast screening if over 50. What to look for in an examination Size – If one of your breasts becomes larger or lower than the other, consult your General Practitioner. Remember though, that one breast is usually bigger than the other so look for changes and not what’s normal. Nipples – Look for changes in your nipples. If one becomes inverted or pulled in or changes position or shape then contact your GP. Remember that its normal for some women to have inverted nipples so look for changes. Rashes – If you develop a rash around one of your nipples then go and see your GP. Discharge – If there is any discharge from your nipples then consult your doctor. Skin Changes – Look for any changes in the skin of your breasts. Watch for dimpling for puckering of the skin and if you find any consult your doctor. Swelling – If you develop any swelling under your armpits or around your collarbone, where your Lymph nodes are, then go and see your GP. Pain – If you have continuous pain in one part of your breast or your armpit then consult your doctor. Lumps or Thickening – If you notice a lump or thickening in your breast that is not the same as the tissue around it then go and see your GP. Performing A Self Examination If this is your first time examining your breasts then make a few notes in a diary. Note the shape of your breasts and how each breast hangs compared to the other. Note the position of your nipples and their colour and texture. Write this down in your diary so you have something to compare it to in the future. breast self exam Information taken from Breast Talk and Summit Medical Group