Be Breast Aware

Breast examinations

The Department of Health's policy on breast awareness encourages women to check their breasts for what is normal for them and to recognise what is normal for them and to recognise any irregular changes. 

Being breast aware

You can become more aware of your breast tissue by looking and feeling in any way that is best for you. By learning how your breasts feel at different times, you will get to know what is normal for you and be able to notice possible changes to your breasts.

There can be many reasons for changes in the breast, but if you become aware of any changes, from what is normal to you, you should arrange to see your GP straight away, even if you have had a normal mammography result.

Changes to be aware of:

  • Change in the shape of the breast, especially if caused by arm movement or lifting the breast
  • Puckered or dimpled skin
  • Pain in the breast that is different from normal, especially if new or persistent
  • Lumps or bumpy areas in a breast or armpit which feels different to the same area on the opposite side
  • Nipple rash, bleeding or non-milky discharge, change in the nipple position, for example, pointing a different way or turning in of the nipple.

The NHS cancer screening five point code:

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Look and feel
  • Know what changes to look for and feel for
  • Report any changes to your GP without delay
  • Attend routine screening if aged 50 and over

If you have felt a lump in your breast or have noticed other changes you should see your GP immediately rather than attend for screening. Screening is available for women aged over 40 in private centres.

(Information and advice as provided by the NHS, for more information please visit: http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen/breastawareness.html)

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Further information is available from:

Cancer BACUP
0800 800 7234
www.cancerbacup.org.uk

Breakthrough Breast Cancer
020 7405 5111
www.breakthrough.org.uk

Breast Cancer Care
020 7384 2984
www.breastcancercare.org.uk

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)