Thursday, 18 October 2012

TLC - Know Your Breasts

I thought I knew how to check my breasts. I used to do it in the shower, quite systematically checking for lumps. If this is all you do, you aren't doing it quite right and may miss the signs of breast cancer.

I attended a female health check and it was so enlightening. The doctor got me to stand in front of the mirror, and look, really look at my breasts. It was quite confonting. I don't normally wear revealing tops, I certainly don't go topless, and really looking at first seemed strange. Now its part of my routine, once a month.

So just what are we looking for when we examine our breasts?

1. Lumps - they may not be visible, you may have to feel.
2. Dimpling or Puckering - the lump may be much deeper than skin level
3. Discharge from the nipple
4. Crusting or rash
5. Change in the direction of the nipple

When Joseph was born I got to know my breasts really well. I expressed milk for him which meant daily massage and expressing, and I got a lot more confident in knowing what is right for me, what my normal is.

The year after son was born I received the devastating news mum had cancer, which you can read here. There are two things I want you to know about breast cancer.

Most women who are diagnosed do not have a family history of breast cancer

You may not be able to feel a lump.

Mum's lump was detected on a routine mammogram. If you are over 50 keep all appointments, breast cancer may be symptomless. Mum's own surgeon couldnt feel the lump. It was caught early. The treatment was not nice, but mum is ok now, thankfully.

Finding breast cancer early could save your life. Know the signs, text TLC to 84424* for your free handy TLC guide from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, or register at
*Standard networks apply”

Today is my mum's birthday, wishing her a very happy birthday, and many cancer free years to come.

1 comment:

  1. Timely information for me - thanks. I have acupuncture for my back and was told t go home and check my breasts as my acupuncturist was worried there may be a cyst. I haven't found anything, but am rather paranoid now so will be taking your advice.