Wherever you do it, make sure you check your breasts regularly
1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, so it’s important you spot the signs early to get the best possible treatment.
Everyone’s breasts are different, and your breasts can change with age and at different times of the month. It’s important to get to know how your breasts normally look and feel so it will be easier to spot if there are any unusual changes for you.
Lump - may not be seen, but might be felt.
Can you feel a lump?
Either in the breast, upper chest or armpit?
Is there a lumpy area?
Or unusual thickening of the breast tissue that doesn't go away?
Skin texture e.g. dimpling or puckering
Any change in size or shape? For example, one breast might become larger or lower than the other.
Any change in colour? For example, the breast may look red or inflamed.
Any change in skin texture? Such as puckering or dimpling of the skin of the breast.
Appearance or direction of the nipple
What about the appearance or the direction of the nipple?
For example, one might become inverted (turned in) when it normally points out.
Any unusual discharge? One or both nipples might have a discharge.
Rash or crusting
Any rash or crusting of the nipple or surrounding area.
Touch Look Check mini guide
Our pocket sized guide will help you learn how to check your breasts for signs of cancer. Order your free guide.
Lumps are vital to look out for, and it might be the first thing you spot. If you do find a breast lump, get it checked by your doctor, even though they’re quite common and most of them are benign (not cancerous).
Another symptom of breast cancer is breast pain, but pain is very common and may not be anything to worry about.
How often should I be checking?
It’s good to get in a habit of checking regularly and make it part of your weekly or monthly routine. You can do it in the bath or shower, when you’re getting ready in the morning or while watching TV on the sofa.
What should I do if I find something?
If you spot any unusual changes, it’s important to get them checked by your doctor as soon as possible.
Most cases of breast cancer are found by women noticing unusual changes and visiting their doctor to get them checked. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of beating it.
I've been invited to a breast screening, what will it be like?
Take a look at our screening guide to find out what you need to know about NHS breast screenings.