Being breast awarePatient Information Leaflet
Being breast aware means getting to know your breasts; how they look and what they normally feel like.
Breast cancers produce few warning signs and hardly ever cause pain. There may sometimes be a vague discomfort, but commonly the first thing people notice is an abnormal lump in their breast. Nevertheless, there are other possible signs, and everyone should know the ‘breast aware’ 5 point plan and look for the warning signs.
It is important that men, too, are ‘chest aware’ and check themselves regularly.
As part of our Bin Your Bra appeal, Dr Hilary demonstrated how (and when best) to perform a self examination and reiterated the need to follow the 5 point plan;
Remember the ‘breast aware’ 5 point plan
- Know what’s normal for you
- Look at your breasts and feel them
- Know what changes to look for
- Report any changes without delay
- Attend routine screening if you’re 50 or over
Changes to look for include:
A change in the outline, shape or size of the breast
A new lump in the breast or armpit
Skin dimpling that changes the appearance of the surface of the breast
In-drawing of the nipple, or alteration in its position
Discharge or bleeding from the nipple for no apparent reason
A rash or moist, red area on or around the nipple
Discharge from the nipple for no apparent reason
Go to your GP if you notice anything unusual or you are worried.
For more information on what to expect from the moment you find a lump and during your first referral appointment, take a look at our new patient information leaflet.Download our patient information leaflet
The following organisations can also offer advice and practical support for people concerned about or living with breast cancer;
NHS Choices – Information from the National Health Service on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living
The Breast Cancer Haven is a UK charity supporting the physical and emotional needs of anyone affected by breast cancer
Breast Cancer Now – Patient support and helpline
Macmillan offer information, practical help and support for people living with cancer
Maggie’s offer support and help for people living with cancer. Maggie’s centres are located nationally alongside NHS hospitals or online
(Reviewed October 2020)