‘Don’t get scared, Get screened’ is the message of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October.
Most women know that a lump – found anywhere in your breast, armpit, or around the collarbone – can be a sign of breast cancer; but it’s not always the only one.
Symptoms such as leaking nipples, skin like orange peel, nipple becomes turned in, bleeding or crusty nipples, or dimples can also signal something may be wrong.
If you find one or any of the symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer – but you do need to get it looked at by your doctor, just to rule it out.
Your breasts will look and feel different at different times of your life, but if you are worried about a change, the message is simple:
Don’t get scared, Get screened.
One in eight women in Scotland will develop breast cancer, however, the facts show that you are five times more likely to survive if it’s caught in its earliest stage.
And Breast screening – which only takes around 10 minutes – saves around 130 lives every year in Scotland by detecting tiny cancers, when they are often less advanced and easier to treat.
If you do notice any changes in your breasts, it is important to see your GP therefore.
There’s no need to feel embarrassed as your doctor is there to help, but if you prefer you can request to be seen by a female doctor or practice nurse.
You can even take a friend along with you – the most important thing is to go and get checked.
You can learn what happens at a breast screening following a short film as Scottish comedian Elaine C Smith attends her screening appointment at www.getcheckedearly.org/breast-cancer#why-earlier
And for further information to become more breast aware, visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support