There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so checking your breasts for any unusual change is important. Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. You might feel the lump, but not see it.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
- A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
- A change in the colour of the breast - the breast may look red or inflamed
- Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
- Any unusual discharge from either nipple
Pain in your breasts is not normally a sign of breast cancer, but it can be if it is associated with other symptoms. While most pain is not a symptom, it’s important to look out for any pain that is unusual and persists over a period of time.
Noticing an unusual change like these doesn’t necessarily mean you will get breast cancer, but it’s important to get checked out if you are worried.
How should I check my breasts?
Checking your breasts only takes a few minutes. There’s no special technique and you don’t need training to check your breasts, but remember to check the whole breast area, including your upper chest and armpits.
It’s as simple as TLC: Touch Look Check
How often should I check my breasts?
It’s important to check your breasts regularly because the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. It doesn’t matter when you check your breasts, as long as you check them regularly. You could check while you’re in the bath or shower, after the gym or before bed.
Everyone’s breasts are different, so get to know how your breasts normally look and feel. That way, it’s easier to spot anything unusual.
When you get to know your breasts, you might notice they change with age, or at different times of the month. For example, your breasts might feel tender and lumpy around the time of your period. You may also experience normal changes during pregnancy, when your breasts may get bigger and feel tender or sore.
It’s also important to continue to check even if you are already having regular screening. Find out more about attending breast screening.