Be Breast Aware!

Being breast aware is part of maintaining your healthy lifestyle. As women get older their risk of developing breast cancer increases. Being conscious of how your breasts look and feel and regularly checking them is vital, so you notice any changes.

It is important because there is a chance that a change could indicate breast cancer and the sooner the breast cancer is spotted, the easier and more effective treatment can be.

Follow the Five Point Code:

  1. Know what is normal for you
  2. Look and feel
  3. Know what changes to look for
  4. Report any changes without any delay to your nearest practitioner
  5. Attend breast screening if above 50 years of age.

Changes to look for:

  • A lump or thickening which is different to the rest of the breast tissue
  • Continuous pain in one part of the breast or armpit
  • Changes in size of the breast or if one breast is noticeably larger than the other
  • A nipple becomes inverted or changes shape or position
  • Skin changes including dimpling or puckering
  • A swelling under the armpit or around the collar bone
  • A rash on or around the nipple
  • Discharge from one or both nipples

A GOOD BREAST HEALTH PLAN includes

  • Self Breast Examination: Every Month
  • Clinical Breast Examination: Visit your Doctor once a year
  • Mammography: Once a year / as recommended

Myths About Breast Cancer

Myth
Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.
Fact
Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam. He or she may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not.
Take charge of your health by performing routine breast self-exams, establishing ongoing communication with your doctor, getting an annual clinical breast exam, and scheduling your routine screening mammograms.


Myth
Most breast cancers run in families.
Fact
Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, which means they are caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child. The other 90% are largely due lifestyle and environmental factors.


Myth
There is nothing you can do to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
Fact
Ninety percent of breast cancers are largely due to lifestyle and environmental factors. To keep your risk as low as it can be, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.


Myth
Regular mammograms prevent breast cancer.
Fact
Mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, but they can save lives by finding breast cancer as early as possible, when it’s most treatable.


Myth
Antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Fact
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that antiperspirants cause breast cancer, either because of toxin buildup or aluminum exposure.


Myth
Breast cancer is contagious.
Fact
You cannot catch breast cancer or transfer it to someone else's body. Breast cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell growth of mutated cells that begin to spread into other tissues within the breast. However, you can reduce your risk by practicing a healthy lifestyle, being aware of the risk factors, and following an early detection plan so that you will be diagnosed early if breast cancer were to occur.