Breast awareness encourages women to become more aware of their bodies generally and get to know their own their breasts. You should know how your breasts look and feel at different times so that you can recognise any irregular changes.
Normal Changes of Your Breast
Most breast changes are directly related to developing or aging breast tissue. These include tenderness/pain, lumps and nipple changes. For example, breast pain due to the monthly menstrual cycle is considered normal. Some women breasts are getting larger and they are experiencing tenderness and they feel a bit lumpy at their breast. After menstruation, this lumpiness may disappear. Breast lumps that occur while the breasts are developing are always benign it will go off after certain period of time. If it not resolved, it may require further investigation.
Changes to be Aware of
- Lumps or thickening at the breasts
- Change in shape or size of the breast
- Change in appearance (warm,swollen,red, scaly)
- Nipple discharge or inverted nipples or rashes around the nipple
- Skin changes – puckering or dimpling
- Swelling under the armpit or around the collarbone (where the lymph nodes are)
- Continuous pain in any part of the breast
How to Examine Your Breasts
Step 1: Look at your breasts
- Stand in front of a mirror and hang your arms loosely by your sites, look at your breasts for any changes stated above
- Raise your hand above your head and examine your breast
- With your hands pressing firmly down on your hips (chest muscle tense up), examine your breast
- Squeeze your nipple gently to check for any bleeding or any unusual discharge.