It is now a year since I was diagnosed with early breast cancer.
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A time when I ask myself the haunting question: is my cancer back?
Nearly 800 Australian women under the age of 40 will be diagnosed with cancer every year. While young women aren’t the most vulnerable demographic, this means symptoms can often be go undetected. It is important to remember that breast cancer can happen to anybody, and breast awareness is the best way to monitor your health and reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In order to detect any changes in your breasts, you must know how they look and feel regularly.
While changes to your breasts don’t usually mean cancer, you should know what kind of changes too look for:
- a new lump or lumpiness
- a change in the size or shape of your breast or nipple
- changes to the skin around the breast or nipple
- dimpling of the skin or nipple
- discharge or blood from the nipple
- an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.
You should regularly feel and examine your breasts in the shower or when dressing.
According to Worldwide Breast Cancer, a lump can feel like a lemon seed – hard and immovable.
If you notice and change or are concerned about your breasts, visit the doctor as soon as you can.
October 27 is Pink Ribbon Day. To support breast cancer research you can donate by purchasing a Pink Ribbon (available at David Jones, Big W and selected stalls), or sign up to Register4 – Australia’s first national online research register – to participate in cancer research.
Image via Worldwide Breast Cancer.