To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we've compiled some information explaining who is at risk, what to look out for and how to check for symptoms, including the golden rule: TLC - Touch, Look, Check.
Breast Cancer is the commonest cancer in women in the UK. It affects 1 in 7 women so it is likely you will know someone affected by it. It is commoner in women over the age of 50 (80%) who have been through the menopause but it can also affect very young women too, in their 20's.
And don't forget, 1% of breast cancers are in men so if a man finds a lump behind the nipple GET IT CHECKED OUT.
Breast cancer usually presents as a lump and is usually discovered by the woman (or man) themselves. This shows you the importance of being BREAST AWARE and of regularly checking your breasts for lumps and bumps. So many women are too scared to check themselves and are frightened of what they might find. DON'T BE SCARED! Check away.
MOST LUMPS ARE HARMLESS
If you find a lump really early on, it could be completely harmless, for instance a little cyst. In other cases, detecting cancerous a lump at an early stage could be life-saving.
Remember you are the best person to check yourself as you can do so every month ideally, the week after your period when your breasts are softer and less tender. Asking your doctor or nurse to do this once a year for you is really not frequent enough. There are some great information sheets on breast self examination listed below.
What to look out for
Interestingly, breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer but any persistent pain should be checked out.
Unfortunately some people have a genetic predisposition to developing breast cancer but this is by no means true for everyone. In fact there is a lot you can do to reduce your risk.
And remember a bit of 'TLC' could save your life
TLC: TOUCH LOOK - CHECK
Remember MOST breast lumps are not cancerous - but no doctor would ever turn you away for wanting to have the lump checked out.
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