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Examine your breasts

The most effective way to detect breast cancer in its early stages is to go for screening. You may sometimes notice unusual changes in your breasts. If you do, you should have a breast examination.

What if I notice a worrying change in my breast?

It’s good to be familiar with your breasts and how they normally feel and look. If you or someone else notices any unusual changes in your breasts, you should make a doctor’s appointment at your local health centre, occupational health clinic or a private clinic. Do this if you notice any changes in your breasts, even if you have just had a screening or are soon to have one.

A lump in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. It’s important to remember that there can be various benign changes in the breasts, such as cysts, lumps in the connective tissue or unevenness in the glandular tissue.

Changes that need to be investigated:
· A lump in the breast or armpit
· A change in the shape of the breast
· Dimpling of the skin
· Rash or broken skin on the areola
· Retracted nipple or secretion from the nipple
· Redness or swelling of the breast

Breast cancer is often found asymptomatically in screening or mammograms carried out for other reasons. It’s always worthwhile to go for a screening. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.

If you know that you are in a specialised healthcare medium or high-risk group, you can receive guidance on breast monitoring from specialised healthcare.

Breast cancer is most common in women, but it can also affect men and non-binary people.