It is widely publicised that women should check their breasts on a regular basis but how many of us are familiar with the Breast Self-Examination routine? And what can Breastlight show that a normal hand check wouldn’t? Our Breast Awareness guide will talk you through the Breast self-examination routine and give you a clear understanding of how Breastlight could potentially benefit you.
How do I perform a breast self-check without Breastlight?
‘How well do you know your breasts? If you are checking for something as serious as breast cancer it’s important to know exactly how they usually look and feel so that you can spot any changes quickly and report them to a medical professional.
The size, shape and consistency of every woman’s breasts is different and can even vary dependent on the time of the month as part of your menstrual cycle. As an example, some women would have tender and lumpy breasts, predominantly around the armpit especially around the time of their period. The menopause would also bring about its own changes too with normal breasts feeling softer, less firm and not as lumpy.
If you are looking to become more Breast Aware, you may wish to find out more by consulting the *NHS Breast Screening Programme which has a 5 point plan produced to make you more ‘Breast Aware’.
Our ‘hands-on’ guide to the Breast self-check
What am I searching for?
- A change in the size, outline or shape of your breast
- A change in the look or feel of your skin such as puckering or dimpling
- A new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same are on the other side
- Nipple discharge that is not milky
- Bleeding from the nipple
- A Moist, Red area on your nipple that doesn’t heal easily
- Any change in nipple position such as, your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
- A rash on or around your nipple
- Any discomfort or pain in one breast. Particularly if it’s a new pain and doesn’t go away (this is a rare symptom for Breast Cancer but it is still best to be aware)
Breastlight would always advise to see your GP if you are concerned
Whilst the above signs do not always point towards Breast Cancer it is important that Breast Cancer is ruled out as soon as possible by a GP. If Breast Cancer is found, it is more likely to be treated successfully if it is found early so don’t delay – If you find something, speak to your GP today.
How can Breastlight enhance the Breast self-check?
Breastlight has been designed to enhance the Breast self-check rather than replace it. By feeling the breasts with your hands you can become more aware of the shape, texture and size of your breasts which will ultimately increase your breast awareness but what you cannot do is get an internal view of any issues before they become visible to natural sight or touch.
But what about the areas you can’t see, feel or touch? You’d be forgiven for thinking that all is well once you have completed your self-check by hand and haven’t found anything unusual but if there is a problem already starting to form below the surface there is a high probability that you wouldn’t pick this up by hand checking alone.
By using Breastlight you gain an internal view of the breast and can easily see any abnormalities in the form of a black mass/cluster. Now in many cases these clusters will be harmless or easily treatable but the fact that Breastlight has revealed them to you has now presented you with an opportunity to seek a GP’s advice without delay.
As with the *NHS Breast Screening programme we would always recommend knowing what to check for as part of the breast self-check whether it be inclusive or exclusive of Breastlight but by being able to check inside the breast you are increasing your chances of earlier detection and thus maximising the likelihood of successfully treating any issues which have developed.