Sunday, 2 November 2014

October is over

Hopefully many of you will have taken the time to read the four featured posts from some brilliant women I know, all of whom are members of the Younger Breast Cancer Network.

October is now over (and with it 'breast cancer awareness month') but the need to hammer home the message that no one is too young to get breast cancer doesn't end when the pink washing does. You have heard from four fantastic ladies about lumps, bumps and wonky nipples and their treatment for breast cancer. If you take anything away from this (apart from how bloody brilliant these ladies are), please let it the importance of knowing your body and what is normal for you.

Make sure you check yourself regularly - and don't just focus on the boobies! Check your armpit areas and up to your collarbone. Take a few minutes next time you're in the shower or laid in bed. You may even want to ask someone to check for you as well  - just make sure its your other half and not some random bloke in the pub....

Your boobs may be squidgy, spongy or lumpy (no, these are not the long lost cousins of the seven dwarves.....) - just know what feels normal for you. Become best friends with your boobs ladies! Or 'breast' friends ......

Getting to know your boobs from nip to pit will help you to spot any changes. And you know from reading the stories of these four lovely ladies, this can be a variety of things including:

Lumpiness or thickening of the breast tissue.

Swelling in the armpit or round the collarbone (remember its not just the boobs!).

Nipple changes - both Sarah P and me had dodgy nips with our tumours - however, I could feel a lump as well, whereas Sarah couldn't. Nipples may become inverted or start to look a bit wonky. Mine started to drag inwards, with a crease through the skin (too much nip info??).

Constant pain in your breast or armpit - although we are regularly told pain isn't a sign of breast cancer, you know from reading both Laura's and Sarah M's stories that it can be.

Any dimpling or puckering of the skin.

More information about checking your boobs and what signs to look for can be found here.

Remember, if during your booby checking you find anything - ANYTHING - that concerns you or you aren't sure about see your GP as soon as possible. Do not be fobbed off and do not leave the surgery until you feel satisfied with your GP's response. Remember - no one is too young to get breast cancer and you do not need to have a family history. That said (and so I don't terrify everyone) most breast lumps and changes are not due to cancer. But, it can and does happen and the earlier it's found, the better the outcome in most cases.

So get tactile with those tits, handy with your hooters! One day it just might save your life.

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