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TAKE CONTROL breast OF YOUR health!



The pandemic has forced us to put many things on hold lately, but one thing that should never be delayed is a breast check.

“The most well-known symptom associated with breast cancer is finding a lump in the breast area. However, there are a number of physical signs or symptoms that could potentiall­y indicate breast cancer,” explains Dr Nick Zdenkowski from Breast Cancer Trials.

“Knowing the look and feel of your breasts is just as important as regular self-checks,” he continues.


“Every woman’s breasts are different in terms of size, shape and density,” Dr Zdenkowski says. “It’s also possible for one breast to be larger than the other and can feel different at different times of the month based on your menstrual cycle.”

While regular checks are essential, women who are menstruati­ng should also perform checks at various stages of the month to familiaris­e themselves with any normal changes that might occur during their cycle. “After menopause, normal breasts feel softer, less firm and not as lumpy,” says Dr Zdenkowski.


“Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit up to your collarbone with your arm raised,” Dr Zdenkowski advises. “You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit.” Use your finger pads to move up and down the entire breast and armpit, and then repeat moving in a circular motion.

“You can also examine your breasts in the mirror,” he adds. Take a look as you stand with your arms by your sides, then with them raised. “You’re looking for any lumps or skin dimpling, changes in skin colour or texture, nipple deformatio­n, a change in the nipple colour or any fluid leaks,” Dr Zdenkowski says.


Remember, many early-stage breast cancers have no symptoms at all. Breastscre­en Australia recommends that women aged 50-74 without breast cancer symptoms should have mammograms every two years.

If you do notice anything that is different or worrying, it’s important not to panic. “Nine out of 10 breast changes aren’t due to cancer,” Dr Zdenkowski says. “However, you should consult your doctor if you find any changes in your breasts.”

• Breast Cancer Trials is a group of world-leading breast cancer doctors and researcher­s based in Australia and New Zealand. Visit breastcanc­

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