This Breast Cancer Awareness Month the McGrath Foundation is calling on Australian women to take care of their pair by memorising its simple approach to breast checking ‘Look, Feel, Learn’.
With Cancer Council data revealing a 37 per cent decrease in screening for breast cancer during COVID-19, meaning thousands of people could potentially miss early diagnosis, the Foundation is urging women to take matters into their own hands.
“Early detection of breast cancer while it is still small and confined to the breast provides the best chance of being effective, so this data is really concerning,” said McGrath Foundation CEO, Holly Masters.
“At the McGrath Foundation we say, ‘if you grow them, know them’. Our message this Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to get familiar with how to check your breasts, but importantly to seek medical attention if you notice anything unusual.”
“We are hearing from our McGrath Breast Care Nurses that the COVID-19 restrictions have meant people have been hesitant about visiting their GP,” Holly continued.
“It’s so important that if you find a lump or notice any changes to your breasts that you seek medical attention straight away. Don’t wait for the pandemic to be over.”
Symptoms to look for are lumps, pain, thickening of the skin, redness, inverted nipples, dimples, skin sores and nipple crust or discharge.
How to ‘Look, Feel, Learn’
Part of good breast health understanding means getting to know your breasts, so you know what’s normal for you.
Starting on October 1st the McGrath Foundation is asking everyone to follow this simple process, developed by its McGrath Breast Care Nurses, and to repeat it once a month.
The more you examine your breasts, the more you will learn about them and the easier it will become for you to tell if something has changed
- Look – at the shape and appearance of your breasts and nipples in the mirror with your hands by your sides. Raise your arms above your head and have another look.
- Feel – all of your breasts and nipples looking for anything that isn’t normal for you. Feel from your collarbone to below the bra-line and under your armpit too.
- Learn – what is normal for you! Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes, so get to know your normal. See your Doctor if you notice any changes.
- Examine yourself several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. If you are no longer having periods, choose a day that’s easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.