Do #YouKnowBreast? Follow Dr Hilary's breast examination guide
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime but more than 50% of women say they don't know the early signs of the disease. As part of our breast cancer awareness series, Dr Hilary Jones shares his step-by-step guide for examining your breasts. It takes just two minutes and it could save your life.
The key signs and symptoms you're looking for are:
- Visible changes in shape or size.
- Skin changes such as; dimpling, puckering or rash around nipple.
- Lumps or bumps.
- Any discharge from the nipple.
How to check:
1. Sit comfortably with hands on hips so chest muscles are relaxed, looking in the mirror.
Look first at the contour of the breast to check that it matches on each side and see if there is any puckering or dimpling.
Look for any change in the nipple such as a rash, indrawing or pulling in.
Look for any skin change all around the nipple.
Using the fingers of your left hand to examine right breast, walk your middle three fingers around the breast.
You're feeling for any abnormal lumps or bumps or any irregularity that hasn't been there before.
Divide the breast into four quarters.
Start on inner upper quarter, waking those fingers around the breast.
Do the same on the lower inner quarter and then across to the right lower quarter
and then the upper right quarter.
Walk fingers up to the tail of the breast in the arm pit.
Walk your fingers back to the areola around the nipple
Squeeze nipple gently to see if any fluid of any kind.
Repeat steps above on the left breast, using your right hand to do so.
Dr Hilary advises that menstruating women examine their breasts following their period each month. For menopausal and post-menopausal women, pick a date each month that suits you to do a self-examination.
For more information and helplines for breast cancer, please click here.