As it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women across the country, it is time to admit we all don’t check ourselves as much as we should for lumps or bumps.
Every October the campaign for breast cancer is highlighted but truth be told like myself, I lack in checking my breasts and only tend to think twice about “what if?” when the first of October approaches.
The scary factor is you will never learn of a bump as they are painless so you have to check.
Only up to recently I learned properly how to actually check for lumps and realised how important it was to check as this could result in early detection of breast cancer.
So, what are the facts surrounding the disease?
At least 1 in 10 women will get breast cancer.
Around 2,600 women are diagnosed every year in Ireland.
It is most common in women over the age of 50 but don’t let this fool you they’re many cases where young adults have had breast cancer.
Women and girls who take the contraceptive pill and those who don’t have children are at a slightly higher risk.
Family history is a big indication and if it’s common in your family, you should get checked.
Girls who get their period before the age of 12 and women who start the menopause after the age of 55 are at a slightly higher risk.
What to look for:
A change in size of breast or nipple.
A change in the skin such as puckering or dimpling or redness.
A change in the direction of the nipple especially if it sinks into your breast.
An unusual discharge (liquid) coming from the nipple.
A rash or flaky skin around the breast.
Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.
A lump or thickening in your breast.
Breast cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when caught in time. With early detection the survival rate is 98%. However if not caught in time, there are serious implications. Find out about the stages of breast cancer, treatments and how to live with it or with someone who has it here.
Also see Ireland’s Breast Cancer Awareness page.
Looking around you, in your college class, on a night out or maybe at home it’s scary to think at least one will be affected by breast cancer.
So here is a picture on how to check for lumps and if you find one, act on it, don’t leave it to see if it disappears, contact your GP.
It is said that the best way to check for lumps is while you are in the shower so make it a habit you form early.
To donate you can also text ‘CURE’ or ‘PINK’ to 50300 to donate €4.