October means many things, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cosy nights in and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Now, while we encourage getting up close and personal with breast checks all year round, this month we are taking part in the Change & Check campaign. This life-saving campaign is all about learning what changes to check for (hence the name!) So, we’re shouting from the rooftops (or sharing blog posts, Instagram stories and leaflets in store) about the things you need to look out for to keep yourself (and your breasts) healthy!
The breast-checking campaign was set up by Helen Addis, a Features Editor for ITV’s Lorraine, after she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Through this amazing campaign, Helen – also known as The Titty Gritty – aims to help more people know what to look out for in order to get an early diagnosis.
The signs and symptoms to check for are:
- Visible changes in shape or size.
- Skin changes such as; dimpling, puckering or rash around the nipple.
- Lumps or bumps.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
How to check:
- Sit comfortably in front of a mirror with hands on your hips so chest muscles are relaxed.
- Firstly, look 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 the 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 the inner upper quarter, walking those fingers around the breast.
- Do the same on the lower inner quarter and then across to the lower right quarter and then the upper right quarter.
- Walk fingers up to the tail of the breast in the armpit.
- Walk your fingers back to the areola around the nipple.
- Repeat steps above on the left breast, using your right hand to do so.
For more information on the campaign, check out ITV’s Change & Check page.