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Revealed: The best time to check for signs of breast cancer

by , 17 October 2013

More than one in four women have never examined themselves for breast cancer and of those that do, 70% don't do it regularly enough. Big mistake! Here's how to ensure you never miss a breast exam again…

Men and women who fail to identify breast cancer in its earliest stages, when medical treatment can prevent it spreading, risk losing their life.

That’s why it’s so important make sure you do monthly breast exams and that you do them at the same time each month.

So when should you do a breast exam?

The best time to examine your breasts is about a week after your period ends, says webMd.

The reason?

Your breast tissue is less likely to be swollen or tender after menstruation. And both these things which can produce irregular lumps and bumps.

If your menstrual cycle is irregular, are in menopause or if you’re a man, do your examination on a day of the month that's easy to remember – like the first of the month or pay day.

Use this checklist during your breast exam

Before you start, look in the mirror and ask yourself, are there:

  • Any change in the shape or size of the breast or nipple?
  • Any change in the position or colouring of the nipple, including inversion?
  • Any dimpling, denting, scaling or discolouration of the skin?

Now feel your breasts.

Is:

  • Anything that isn’t normally there?
  • There a lump or swelling that feels different from the rest of your breast tissue?
  • There a lump or swelling in the armpit, arm or around your collarbone?
  • There any other change?
  • There a Discharge from one or both nipples?
  • There a pain in the breast, armpit or arm that is new for you?

If you notice a lump or any change such as tenderness, pain or discharge, make an appointment to see your doctor. And if you’re aged between 50 and 64 then you should have regular mammograms.
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