Tips for Checking for Breast Cancer

You may have heard lately that Angelina Jolie opted to have both breasts removed due to her risk of developing breast cancer. While not everyone has the money to be able to afford all the pre-screening tests, breast cancer is the most common female cancer in the world. You can do your own checks, and should do them on a regular basis. If cancer is detected, finding it early increases the chance of survival.

Understand the Symptoms

Read up about breast cancer as much as possible. The more you know about it and the symptoms, the more you will be able to look out for.

You want to be able to catch it early. If you are unsure about anything or your risks of getting it, talk to your doctor.


Check Your Breasts Regularly

Every woman is different. While lumps are a common sign of cancer, you may have lumps in your breasts naturally. You need to know what is normal for you and that means checking your breasts on a regular basis.

This will help you see any changes that happen. You could also talk to your partner about checking your breasts regularly – surely he will enjoy that job.

Check Up Into the Armpit

You will need to make sure you run your hands up into the armpit as breast cancer can start all the way up here.

It may seem strange but it is better to be safe than sorry! Doing this in the shower is often easier since your hands will run over your skin much easier.


Look Out for Lumps, Bumps and Thickening in the Skin

You may not have a lump – the first sign may be that the skin around the area is thickening or there are small bumps under the skin.

Check the other side to find out whether this is normal; most of the time your body should be semi-symmetrical, especially when it comes to the thickness of the skin.

Check the Colour and Shape of Your Nipples

Now it is time to move onto the nipple area, which is where some cancer starts. Check the colour of the areolas – that dark patch around the nipples – for any sign of change.

If you are pregnant, bear in mind that the areolas will possibly get darker. You should also look out for a change to the shape of the nipples and if there is any discharge coming from them, especially none milky discharge.


Have a Pre-Screening

If you can afford this option, have a pre-screening for the risk of developing breast cancer.

While genetics is not a definite sign, it is one of them. If it runs in the family, you will need to talk to your doctor to find out the chances of getting it.

If You Find a Change

If there is a change to your breasts, talk to your doctor. Nine times out of 10, any changes are not cancerous.

There are many reasons for lumps and bumps to form. However, there is always that 10% chance and you want to catch it now!

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