Breast Awareness

Becoming breast aware is important for all women as it is one thing we can all do to help find cancer early. It is a simple procedure which takes only ten minutes once a month.

Please note that the information on this page can be found in the “Becoming Breast Aware Guernsey Breast Screening” leaflet, copies of which are available from the Breast Unit. The leaflet is reproduced here by permission of the Health and Social Services Department of the Guernsey Government.

 

BE BREAST AWARE

Becoming breast aware is important for all women as it is one thing we can all do to help find cancer early. It is a simple procedure which takes only ten minutes once a month.

WHEN TO CHECK YOUR BREASTS

You should check your breasts once a month, preferably on the same day, as this makes it easier to compare. Pre menopausal women should choose a day during the week after their period. Pregnant women, post menopausal women and nursing mothers should examine themselves on the first of the month.

HOW TO EXAMINE YOUR BREASTS

You should get to know your breasts - how they normally look and feel - that way you can detect any recent changes.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Nipple direction:- any change in direction of a nipple - turning inwards or pointing at an unusual angle.

Nipple secretions:- Discharge, new for you and not milky, especially blood stained or persistent.

Areola:- any changes in the dark skin surrounding the nipple, puckering or swelling, moist reddish areas which don't heal well.

Lumps:- Most lumps are harmless, but new ones or old ones which increase in size or change shape should be checked out.

Thickened tissue:- a sudden change in size or shape of thick tissue often found in the upper and underneath area of heavy breasts.

"Orange Peel" skin texture:- pores which become enlarged on the surface of the breast can be an indication of a blockage within the breast which must be investigated.

Swelling:- of the upper arm, in the armpit or just above the breast.

Dimples or bulges:- on the surface of the breast, best seen with arms raised

Feelings:- odd feelings, discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if new or persistent.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE WORRIED

The majority of breast lumps and breast changes turn out to be normal or benign changes, not cancer, so try not to be frightened. If it is cancer, prompt diagnosis and early treatment means you are more likely to be cured.

If you think you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this leaflet you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. If your G.P. thinks it necessary, you will be referred to the Breast Clinic where you will be seen by one of the Breast Specialists.

SOMETHING ELSE YOU CAN DO

Examining your breasts is one thing you can do to help find cancer early.

The main ways to reduce your risk are:

1. Take up offers of screening

2. Don't smoke

3. Eat a healthy diet

In Guernsey, Breast Screening is available to all women aged 50 to 74. This is a free service which you will automatically be invited to attend once you become 50. The Breast Screening Unit will then automatically call you for a mammogram (Breast X-ray) at two-yearly intervals.

BREAST AWARENESS FIVE-POINT CODE

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Look and feel
  • Know what changes to look for.
  • Report any changes to your GP.
  • Attend for Breast Screening if aged 50 and over.

GUERNSEY BREAST SCREENING

PRINCESS ELIZABETH HOSPITAL ST MARTINS GUERNSEY GY4 6UU

Tel: (01481)724816



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