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Breast awareness

Check your lumps and bumps

What are breasts?

Breasts, or ‘boobs’, sit on women’s chests and are made up of fatty tissue and milk glands. In women, breasts produce milk when a baby is born containing all the right nutrients they need.

Men have breast tissue as well. So while you may think this section is only for girls, it’s important that men know their own bodies too and also check for lumps , bumps and changes.

Why is it important to check my breasts?

Checking your breasts at least once a month, at the same time each month, and looking at them in the mirror is important so you can get to know what’s normal for you. It will help you identify if there’s anything different to how your breasts usually look or feel.

Warning signs to look out for……

  • Changes in the look or feel of the skin
  • Changes in the shape of your breast, such as indents and pulling
  • Any new lumps, it’s important to check your armpits as well as your breasts because lumps can appear there too.
  • Discharge from the nipple  (may be bloodstained)
  • Changes in the nipple
  • Any red areas or rashes
  • Dimpling of the skin

If you have any of the signs above, book an appointment to see your GP and get them checked out. Most lumps and changes are nothing to be worried about but  getting them checked early is important just in case they are a sign of breast cancer.

How common is breast cancer?

In the UK breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women. Most people think breast cancer occurs in women over the age of 50 but this is not true. Younger women can get breast cancer too.

Breast cancer affects in 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to check your breasts monthly so you spot any early warning signs. Breast cancer is curable if caught and treated early enough so check those breasts!

How to get help

Worried about a breast changes and want to talk to someone? Don’t panic, make an appointment to see your family doctor.

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

Cross Hatch

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Did you know men can get breast cancer too, it’s not just women? There are around 350-400 cases of breast cancer in the UK which occur in men. It’s just as important for men to check their breasts and women.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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