October is an important month for raising awareness and support for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. There is a one in eight risk of developing breast cancer for women in the UK, and I’m sure that we all have a colleague, friend or family member who has been affected by breast cancer at some point.
Many breast cancers are discovered by you, women yourselves, and so it’s really important to be aware of the signs and symptoms and when to get advice. The earlier a cancer is detected, the easier the treatment and the greater the chance of a cure. For this reason, during October, we are trying to encourage you to be breast aware. Hopefully, this means that should there ever be a change in your breasts, you will be able to notice this early on.
Breast cancer can present with symptoms of;
- Breast lumps
- Nipple changes
- Nipple discharge
- Skin changes
- Breast pain
We are not saying that it is necessary to examine your breasts every day. Instead we want you to understand what feels normal to you, and how your breasts change throughout your cycle. It is normal to have lumpier breasts around the time of a period, and if this is the same in both breasts, and resolves a few days after your period is over, there is nothing to be concerned about. Examining yourself over a few cycles should help you get used to these normal hormonal changes so you can recognize when there is a new change for you which could potentially represent something abnormal.
It is easiest to check your breasts in the shower or bath and you are checking for changes in the size, shape or feel of your breast, swellings in the armpits and any changes to the skin of the breast and nipple.
Should anything unusual be discovered when you examine yourself, this does not usually mean cancer and there are a number of other benign or non-cancerous causes of breast lumps. Often, these require no treatment and can be left alone, once we as doctors are happy that the lump is nothing worrying.
At Core Medical Group we understand the effect of breast cancer on a woman’s life. We are strong supporters of the breast cancer campaign during October. Should you want to have your breasts checked, or learn how to check your breast properly, we would be happy to see you in our clinic. This month, to show our support of breast cancer awareness, we are offering a breast check at the clinic for the discounted rate of £70.
Call before the end of October to book in and take advantage of this discount.
If there is one main message to take away from reading this; if you do discuss a new lump or a change in your breasts, see a doctor straight away.