We all know we need to routinely check our breasts for lumps. If we don’t, there can be devastating consequences. Yet, there are still too many people dying from breast cancer, and these deaths could be prevented.
In the UK, there are more than 55,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women and men each year. Everyone has breast tissue and breast cancer can affect anyone, at any age. Breast cancer directly impacts approximately one in eight women during their lifetime. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk, from checking forlumps to looking after your breasts.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to get breast aware. Remember, checking your breasts and knowing what to look for is the most effective way of catching cancer early.
The earlier cancer is detected and diagnosed, the higher the chances of survival. You only need to look at the stats to understand just how important this is. When diagnosed early, 98% of breast cancer sufferers survive. However, that figure drops to just 26% when a cancer diagnosis comes later down the line.
Give it a go and it’ll soon become second nature.
Tips on checking your breasts
Every woman is different, and so are her breasts. They might feel different at different times of the month, or one may be bigger than the other. The most important thing you can do is to get to know what’s normal for you (and remember,there are lots of versions of ‘normal’).
To help you better understand how to check your breasts and feel confident while doing so, here’s a step-by-step guide to self-examination.
There are just three simple steps to follow:
Step 1: Look at your breasts
Before you start feeling your breasts, stand in front of a mirror, with your top and underwear removed, and look at your breasts. Keeping your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips, look out for any changes in the size, shape or colour of your breasts. These changes could include dimpled, puckered or bulging skin, or any red, sore or swollen areas. You might find it easier to check using a hand-held mirror – whatever works for you.
Step 2: Take note of your nipples
The next thing to do while you’re in front of a mirror is to take a good look at your nipples. What you’re looking for is whether one of your nipples has changed position or has become inverted. You should also check for signs of discharge from one or both nipples (this could be watery, milky, or yellow fluid). Check to see if either nipple is bleeding, there is a rash around the nipple, or there is any crusting on or around the nipple area.
Step 3: Feel your breasts
Now it’s time to get a bit more hands-on. Some experts recommend feeling your breasts while lying down, others advise checking your breasts while standing up. Plenty recommend doing both. Do what feels most natural and comfortable to you, but obviously feeling your breasts whilst both standing and lying down means you’ll do a more thorough check.
Using the ends of your fingers and applying a small amount of pressure, feel around your entire breast. You can either use a circular motion or run your fingers up and down, but be methodical in your movement and include everywhere from the areas around your armpit to your collarbone. You’re feeling for any lumps or hard masses in your breast tissue, any thickening or fullness that feels unlike the surrounding tissue, or any unusual warmth. Do the same with your other breast.
And there you have it – three simple steps. Pop that lace bralette back on and you’re good to go. Try to get into the habit of checking your breasts once a month.
If you do find a lump or notice any changes, don’t panic. Lumps in breasts are common. A lot of people have lumps in their breasts all the time. But if you do find that anything has changed in your breasts – especially changes that last more than one menstrual cycle – it’s best to speak with an expert.
If you have any concerns at all, contact your GP. Book an appointment to chat through any questions with them. Because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Are you wearing the wrong bra?
Another simple thing you can do to look after your breasts is to make sure your bra fits properly and is giving you the comfort and support that your breasts deserve.
Research suggests that 90% of women in the UK are wearing the wrong bra size. That’s more than half the population not being very kind to their breasts.
Common issues include underwires that dig into the breast, double boobing (when breasts spill out of the tops and sides of your bra), and marks left on your body once you’ve taken your bra off. All these issues are generally the result of a bra being too big or too small.
But it’s also a problem that can be easily remedied…
Enter Heist’s super comfortable, lightly supportive lace bralette. Or indeed, any of the bras in our collections. These soft, non-wired bras signal an end to tight straps, unwieldy padding, and ill-fitting cups.
Take The Eco Lace Bralette. It gives you a vintage style with a contemporary feel. It’s wire-free, clasp-free, and simply pulls on over your head. Plus, it’s made of recycled materials, making it as sustainable as it is chic (just look at its refined silhouette).
Or what about the Invisible Scoop Bralette? Again, the absence of any underwires, clasps or padding gives it a second-skin feel. Yet it offers light, comfortable support and a subtle, invisible presence beneath your outfit.
If you’re looking for ways to look after your breasts, it doesn’t come much better than a weightless, supportive, comfortable bra that is also kind to the planet. Check out our range of bras and lace bralettes today.