Breast Cancer Awareness – Do You Know The Signs And Symptoms?

Woman examining her breast

By Eluned Hughes, Head of Public Health and Information at Breast Cancer Now

“Knowing how your breasts look and feel normally, being on the lookout for any unusual changes and getting them checked out by your doctor is so important, as we know that the earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of successful treatment. No-one knows your body better than you and everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes – there’s no special technique and you don’t need any training. It doesn’t matter when you check your breasts, as long as you check them regularly. It’s good to get in a habit of regular checking and making it part of your weekly or monthly routine. It also doesn’t matter where you do it –in the shower, getting ready for bed, after a workout, or while watching TV. Two thirds of breast cancers are detected through women noticing something unusual and checking it with their GP. Most breast changes turn out not to be cancerous, but we encourage women to make an appointment with their doctor and get anything unusual checked as soon as possible.”

Why check your breasts?

Early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer is vital. Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can help you understand what breast changes to look out for, as the earlier breast cancer is
found the more likely treatment is to be successful. We encourage women to check their breasts regularly and be aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for using our guide, TLC – Touch Look Check.

It’s as simple as TLC . . .

Touch your breasts. Can you feel anything unusual?
Look for changes. Is there any change in shape, colour or texture?
Check anything unusual with your doctor. If you spot any unusual changes to your breasts, it’s important to get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

It is important to know what is normal for you, and to get any unusual changes checked out by your doctor as soon as possible. Lumps are important to look for, but there are other signs and symptoms you should look out for too, including: changes to the size and shape of your breast, redness or inflammation, changes to skin texture such as puckering or dimpling to the skin, changes to the nipple such as unusual nipple discharge, inversions, rash or crusting, and unusual or persistent pain. This list of symptoms is not exhaustive and we would advise women who notice anything unusual for them to seek advice from their GP.

Breast Cancer Now Infographic

Breast Check App

We want to make it as easy as possible for women to remember to check themselves, so we have created the Breast Check Now app which aims to get women into the habit of checking their breasts
regularly by setting up a plan that’s easy to remember and fits with their daily lives. It also gives all the information on potential signs and symptoms to look out for, and enables you to
keep a record of your checks to help you learn what’s normal for you and to see if anything changes.

Breast Check Now App

Download the free Breast Check Now app here.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!