There can be many reasons for changes in the breasts. Most of them are harmless but all of them need to be checked as there is a small chance they could be an early sign of cancer.
If you are aware of any change in your breasts, tell your GP (general practitioner) as soon as possible. Remember you are not wasting anyone’s time. If there is a cancer the earlier it is found the simpler and more effective treatment will be. Speak to your GP and they will discuss with you any further investigations needed.
Being breast aware is an important part of caring for your body. It means knowing what your breasts normally look and feel like, knowing what is normal for you. This will help you feel more confident about noticing any changes.
Free breast screening is available to all women over 50. You are invited to attend every three years until you are 71. If you are over 71 just call to make an appointment.
Don’t be scared five minutes could be all it takes to save your life. For an appointment call Gateshead Breast Screening Unit 0191 445 2554.
A change to your breast could be one of the following, if you notice any of the below changes tell your GP as soon as possible:
A change in the size or shape
A change in the skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like orange skin)
A lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
Redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
If your nipple becomes inverted (pulled in) or changes its position or shape
Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
Discharge (liquid) from one or both of your nipples
Constant pain in your breast or your armpit
How do I check my breasts?
Try to get used to looking at and feeling your breasts regularly, it is best to do this with the hand held flat. You can do this in the bath or shower, when you use body lotion, or when you get dressed. There’s really no need to change your everyday routine. Just decide what you are comfortable with and what suits you best.
Remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and along your collarbone.