Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Breast cancer symptoms, warning signs to watch for and how to check yourself

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and as charities across the globe show their support for everyone affected by the illness, we are taking a closer look at some of the common symptoms.

Organisations work all year round on education, fundraising and support for those living with breast cancer and their loved ones. But the annual awareness campaign each October shines a wider light on the signs and symptoms to look out for, how someone can check their breasts and the ways members of the public can support a cause close to their hearts.

Wear It Pink is the flagship fundraising campaign for charity Breast Cancer Now; inviting people to don the colour and host an event in their community, at school or at work. From cake sales to raffles, there are a variety of ways to support the appeal or raise valuable funding for another cancer charity.

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By 2050, Breast Cancer Now hopes that everyone diagnosed with breast cancer will live and be supported to live well – all thanks to the dedication and support of fundraisers.

Here is some of the charity’s advice in spotting the symptoms, and how to check yourself.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Breast Cancer Now advises people to contact their GP if they notice anything that’s unusual or new for them. That being said, there are a number of common signs of breast cancer including:

*Changes in breast size or shape

October is breast cancer awareness month. Picture: Pixabay.October is breast cancer awareness month. Picture: Pixabay.
October is breast cancer awareness month. Picture: Pixabay.

*A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit

*Dimpling, puckering or other changes to the skin in the breast area

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*A change in breast colour – such as it looking inflamed or red

*A change in the nipple – for example, it becoming “pulled in”

*Crusting or a rash around the nipple

*Unusual discharge from the nipple

How do I check my breasts?

The charity advises checking your breasts regularly for anything that’s new or different for you – along with a reminder to check the whole breast area up to your collarbone, and including armpits.

Everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes, but Breast Cancer Now’s top tips are:

*Feeling for anything new or unusual in the breast area.

*Looking for anything that’s different for you.

*Flagging any unusual changes with a GP as soon as possible.

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