Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated annually across the country and is led by Breast Cancer Care. The Communities Against Cancer team, part of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Health Improvement Service, are out and about across East Lancashire encouraging women to develop a regular routine to examine their breasts and provide information on any changes to look out for. Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women, with over 50,000 ladies diagnosed every year in the UK. Men can also be affected by breast cancer, with over 400 cases diagnosed annually.
Alison Rushton, Health Improvement Specialist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to get people talking about breast cancer. It is also important to help raise awareness of the signs people should be looking out for so they are able to spot any changes in their breasts. Whilst not all symptoms are indicative of cancer, it is important that if any changes are spotted that an appointment is made to visit the GP to have them checked out. It is important women, and men, get into a routine to regularly self-examine. As with many cancers, the earlier they can be detected, the more effective treatment can be. For women aged between 43 and 74 years, it is also important they attend regular breast screening, and they should receive an invite to do so every 3 years.”
The symptoms to look out for when checking your breasts are:
- A lump or thickening in an area of the breast
- A change in the size or shape of a breast
- Redness, thickening of the skin, the skin being pulled, or rashes.
- A change in the shape of your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast, or has an irregular shape
- Watery substance coming from the nipple, especially if blood stained.
- A rash on a nipple or surrounding area
- A swelling or lump in your armpit
- Longstanding pain in the breast or armpit area