Amy Dowden appeals for people to 'get checked' during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Amy Dowden has urged people to 'get checking' during Breast Cancer Awareness Month Credit: @amy_dowden / PA

Strictly Come Dancing's Amy Dowden has appealed to people to 'get checking' during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The professional dancer announced in June that she had undergone a mastectomy after discovering that she had stage three breast cancer at the age of 32.

Now 33, she has been documenting her experiences with chemotherapy on social media to raise awareness and encourage others to check themselves.

Posting on her Instagram stories on Thursday, 5 October, the 33-year-old pleaded with both women and men to check themselves for signs of breast cancer.

The 33-year-old Strictly Come Dancing star has used her social media presence to appeal to others to get checked Credit: PA

"I've come on to remind you all it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Come on, let's do all we can to raise awareness," she said.

"Now, let's get checking. If just 10 people from my posts start checking then I've done something but, come on, let's get as many people as we can.

"Get to know your own breasts or your chest. This affects men and women."

According to the NHS, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. About 1 in 7 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. 

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The first noticeable symptom of breast cancer is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but the NHS says that it is always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should also see a GP if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts

  • discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood

  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits

  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts

  • a rash on or around your nipple

  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

The symptoms of breast cancer in men include:

  • a lump in the breast – this is usually hard, painless and does not move around within the breast

  • the nipple turning inwards

  • fluid oozing from the nipple (nipple discharge), which may be streaked with blood

  • a sore or rash around the nipple that does not go away

  • the nipple or surrounding skin becoming hard, red or swollen

  • small bumps in the armpit (swollen glands)

Last month, Amy shared an update on social media of her shaving her head ahead of treatment Credit: @amy_dowden / Instagram

Amy, who is originally from Caerphilly, continued: "Cancer doesn't have an age. I never thought at 32 I was going to get diagnosed with breast cancer and my whole life just be put on a stop for all these months.

"I found it because I was checking so please, please, please - it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let's do all we can to raise awareness, get people checking their breasts or their chests.

"Remember, cancer doesn't have an age, doesn't matter if you're male or female, please, please, please, thank you so much."