Breast cancer. You know all about it, right? Kylie had it. Angelina had a mastectomy to prevent it. With one in eight Australian women diagnosed with the disease, chances are someone you love has been affected by it; your mum, sister, your friend. But be honest: do you actually ever check your breasts or just think about doing it? Well, here are some steps to follow, and you should do it TONIGHT.
“Check your breasts at least once a month,” advises Pink Hope programs manager Sue Jones. “Two days after your period is a good time.” Take your bra off and try the following steps:
In the mirror
- “Stand with your hands on your hips, facing the mirror. Look for a change in colour, shape or size of your breasts, any swelling or dimpling of the skin, any changes in the nipple such as inverting or sinking in, or any fluid coming out of the nipple.”
- “Push your shoulders forwards and check for the same abnormalities. Put both of your hands above your head and check again.”
In the shower
- “Raise your right hand above your head. Use your left hand to check your right breast. Keeping your fingers together and flat, press and rotate fingers in a circular motion at each point.”
- “Feel all the way from your upper abdominal area to your collarbone and from your armpit to cleavage.”
- “Start by pressing lightly, then again firmly. Make sure you give your nipple a feel. Then swap hands and check the other breast.”
On the bed
- “Lie down on your bed with your back flat. Lift one arm above your head.”
- “Repeat the steps you used in the shower to check for any unusual lumps or bumps.” Make sure you check both sides.
Head to Priceline this month for a lesson on identifying lumps, part of their Free Women’s Health Check (priceline.com.au).