Breast awareness means knowing what is normal for you so you can recognise any unusual changes that may occur.
This is important for all women of all ages. The sooner you notice a change, the earlier it can be checked. If cancer is found and treated early, there is a much greater chance of success.
Get into the habit of looking at and feeling your breasts from time to time so you can get to know your body and be breast aware.
Follow the 5-point breast awareness code:
- Know what is normal for you
- Know what changes to look and feel for
- Look and feel for changes
- Talk to your GP immediately if you spot any changes
- Go for routine breast screening after the age of 50
Changes to be aware of include:
- A change in size or shape – it may be that one breast has become larger
- Changes in the nipple – in direction or shape, pulled in or flattened nipple
- Changes on or around the nipple – rash, flaky or crusted skin
- Changes in the skin – dimpling, puckering or redness
- ‘Orange peel’ appearance of the skin caused by unusually enlarged pores
- Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
- A lump, any size, or thickening in your breast
- Constant pain in one part of your breast or armpit
If you notice any symptoms or changes in your breasts, or are ever worried about any breast problem you should come and see us immediately.
BreastCheck is a national screening service that provides free mammograms (an x-ray of the breast) to women aged from 50 to 64 years, every two years. This age range is expected to extend to women of 69 years of age, over the next few years.
A mammogram looks for early signs of breast cancer. Early detection means earlier treatment which in turn increases the chance of a good recovery. Although no screening tool is 100% effective, and breast screening does not find all breast cancers, breast screening has been shown to a successful way of lowering the number of lives lost to breast cancer.
If eligible, you will need to register with the National Breast Screening Programme to receive your free mammogram. You may do this by logging onto their website at www.breastcheck.ie or alternatively you may contact them via their free phone number on 1800 45 45 55.
BreastCheck – More Information about Breast Screening
BreastCheck – Application Form for BreastCheck
Breast Cancer Ireland – Breast Aware App