Breast Cancer has appeared regularly in the media recently with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Just in case you missed it we have included some signs and symptoms to check when doing a breast examination. 

All women should be familiar with the normal appearance and feel of their breasts.  This can be done with monthly breast examinations or through activities like showering, dressing, putting on body lotion or simply looking in the mirror. This will allow you to more easily identify any changes over time in your breasts.

The following changes may raise concern and be reason to consult your doctor immediately. However the presence of these symptoms do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer. The changes to check for include:

  • A lump, lumpiness or thickening of the breast
  • Changes in the skin of a breast such as puckering, dimpling or a rash
  • Persistent or unusual breast pain
  • A change in the shape or size of a breast
  • Discharge from a nipple, a nipple rash or a change in its shape

What else can you do to reduce your cancer risk?

  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Regular exercise on most days of the week
  • Eat a varied diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Limit your alcohol intake

Early detection of breast cancer is important as women have a much greater chance of being treated successfully. For more information about detecting breast changes and having a mammogram visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation here.

Article written by Dr Melanie Woollam (Osteopath)