This October we are again taking part in the Change & Check campaign (and so is our logo!), as part of this we wanted to tell you all a little bit more about how this campaign started and why it’s so important. This campaign was set up by Helen Addis (also know as @thetittygritty), Features Editor for Lorraine ITV, after her own experience being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Through this amazing campaign, Helen aims to help more people know what to look out for in order to get an early diagnosis.
Helen was inspired to do this while in chemotherapy, and after speaking to family and friends she found out that most people she knew weren’t checking for breast cancer or didn’t know what to check for. Now cancer-free, Helen wants to make sure as many people as possible know what to look for and how often/when to check.
Save Your Life
The signs and symptoms you’re looking for are:
- Visible changes in shape or size.
- Skin changes such as; dimpling, puckering or rash around the nipple.
- Lumps or bumps.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
How to check:
- Sit comfortably in front of a mirror with hands on your hips so chest muscles are relaxed.
- Firstly, look at the contour of the breast to check that it matches on each side and see if there is any puckering or dimpling.
- Look for any change in the nipple such as a rash, indrawing or pulling in.
- Look for any skin change all around the nipple.
- Using the fingers of your left hand to examine the right breast, walk your middle three fingers around the breast. You’re feeling for any abnormal lumps or bumps or any irregularity that hasn’t been there before.
- Divide the breast into four quarters.
- Start on the inner upper quarter, walking those fingers around the breast.
- Do the same on the lower inner quarter and then across to the lower right quarter and then the upper right quarter.
- Walk fingers up to the tail of the breast in the armpit.
- Walk your fingers back to the areola around the nipple.
- Repeat steps above on the left breast, using your right hand to do so.
Dr Hilary advises that menstruating women check their breasts following their period each month. For menopausal and post-menopausal women, pick a date each month that suits you.
If you notice anything unusual, see your doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Early diagnosis could mean a better chance of successful treatment.
The Change & Check Challenge
Lorraine ITV has challenged us to get involved in Change & Check, so we did! Now we challenge you – visit our social channels to see how to get involved.