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How to Detect Breast Cancer Early and Warning Signs to Look For

Oct 01, 2020 · 5 min read

Knowing your boobs inside and out is important, girls.

They’re your breasties and you need to treat them right! And that means checking for anything out of the ordinary...

We know it might seem like a chore and we know it can be a little worrying if you find something that shouldn’t be there, but knowing how to detect breast cancer at its early stages can save your life. More than you realise.

You can check your boobs any day, any time and most importantly, any place. In the shower, when you’re lying down or before you get dressed, perhaps. The great thing about boob checking is that you can perform a simple check anywhere at any time. But make sure you’re doing it at least once a month, ladies!

Early breast cancer symptoms might not always show, but it’s important to know your breasts inside and out so even the smallest change is noticeable. After all, nobody knows your body better than you.

 

Jourdan Rianne - how to detect breast cancer early


Changes in the Surface of the Skin

Are your boobs a little bit swollen? Are you experiencing redness or both, perhaps? One of the first signs of breast cancer is swelling and redness, so it’s important to flag any of these changes to your healthcare provider.


It’s also important to check for puckering, dimpling or a rash. Some women often find that they have a rash or redness of the nipple and surrounding skin. The skin might look like orange peel and the texture can often feel different. This is one of the more physical symptoms of the disease.


An Increase in Size or a Change in Shape of the breast

It’s natural for women to have one breast that’s a little bit bigger than the other. In fact, very few women have perfect, asymmetrical breasts. You’re not alone, girls, it’s totally normal...most of the time.

However, if you spot something that looks a little bit odd, it’s important that you don’t leave it. Breast cancer can often cause your breast, or breasts, to look bigger than usual or they might feel different. Many healthy women of reproductive age find that their breasts are lumpy and more tender just before their period. A change in size or shape that doesn’t fall in line with your menstrual period is one of the first signs of breast cancer, so don’t ignore it, ladies.


Breast Lumps

One of the first symptoms and early warning signs of breast cancer in many women is a breast lump. Most lumps are non-cancerous, so it’s important that you don’t panic. We know it’s easier said than done.

It’s super important that you get any lumps checked, even if they’re not painful. Your GP will arrange for you to have tests to find out whether the lump is cancerous or not. This can be an early sign of breast cancer for some, but for many, 80-85% of breast lumps turn out to be non-cancerous.

A lump or swelling in the armpit

We spend a lot of time shaving our pits, girls, so as well as checking your breasts, it’s important to check your armpits too. This is because breast tissue connects to your armpits, so this area is just as important as the breasts themselves. You can’t usually feel the lymph glands in your body unless they’re swollen from a cold or infection, however, a less common cause of swollen lymph glands or lump in the armpit can mean that breast cancer has spread to this area.


Changes in the position of the nipple

Nipples can often become inverted or sink into the breast. As women, our nipples naturally react to changes in our body temperature - when it’s cold, they harden and when it’s warm, they are much softer. However, an inverted nipple that is persistent is one of the early signs of breast cancer. Get it checked out if something doesn’t seem right!

Fluid leaking from the nipple


Got a leaky nipple? If you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, fluid from the nipple can be an early warning sign of Breast Cancer, but there are sometimes other conditions that can cause this. You know what we’re going to say...if in doubt, check it out.

Breast pain

It’s normal to have breast pain, ladies. In most cases, breast pain is not normally due to Breast Cancer. Research also suggests that consuming high amounts of caffeine is linked to breast pain, so limit your caffeine intake, girls. You might get pain in one or both of your breasts for a while which goes after a time. This can be due to hormonal changes in your breasts in line with your menstrual period, breast cysts which are non-cancerous or a benign breast lump known as a fibroadenoma.


However, if the pain doesn’t go away or is causing you discomfort, it’s always best to get it checked.

How to detect breast cancer early

 

Remember, ladies, all of our bodies are different. Just because we’ve listed some of the physical symptoms of breast cancer and early warning signs to look for, this doesn’t mean that you have the disease. All of our boobs are different and they say something different about each and every one of us.


However, if you do think that something isn’t right, please go and get it checked out. Early breast cancer symptoms need to be picked up and picked up fast. It can save your life - literally! Ask someone in your family to come with you to your appointments for support or maybe ask your Breastie. In times like these, we all need somebody. 

You may have heard of our Lounge Legends. They’ve all been through a diagnosis. So, be sure to check out their stories for some breast tips and perhaps a little reality check on what’s really important.

Stay safe, stay aware and most importantly, #FeelYourBreast.

 

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