Breast Cancer – know what it is and know what to look for

What is breast cancer? 

Like many cancers, breast cancer develops when older or damaged cells do not die when they are supposed to; instead they divide and reproduce continuously until they produce a mass of growing tissue known as a tumour. Unfortunately this process can spread around the body and invade the key organs needed for survival.

Why is self-examination important? 

According to Cancer UK around 55,000 women and 370 men will develop breast cancer each year. That’s a lot, so it’s important to understand the symptoms and seek advice as soon as possible if you have any concerns, so your symptoms can be investigated.

The symptoms:

  • Lumps – can you feel any unusual lumps or bumps in your breast?
  • Changes in shape – do either of your breasts newly appear bigger, lower, or have change in shape?
  • Change in colour – do either of your breasts appear red or inflamed?
  • Nipple changes – has either nipple become inverted?
  • Nipple discharges – is either nipple producing discharge?
  • Skin texture – is there unusual dimpling around the skin on either breast?
  • Rash or dry skin – have you noticed a rash or crusting of the skin on the nipple or surrounding area?

Check for these symptoms regularly and, if you do notice anything different, it’s very important to see your GP