Welcome back to my contribution to Blogtober, hosted by the lovely Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos. Today is all about breast cancer awareness. I have been a very lucky woman to not have anyone in my family to suffer from breast cancer, and hope I never will. However, this means today wasn’t quite a simple as I first thought. Instead, I thought I would talk a little bit about ways to check for lumps and bumps, and some statistics.
How common is it?
Most, if not everyone, knows someone who has suffered from breast cancer, I mentioned that no one in my family has, but I have had colleagues and family friends go through this horrible illness.
“It is the most common type of cancer in women with around 55,000 new cases diagnosed each year; accounting for 15% of all cancer diagnoses.”2. Checking your boobs for #breastcancerawareness #Blogtober18
There are different types.
Not all cancers are created equal. With breast cancer, someone can have a lump in all areas of the breast, including under the arm. The most invasive type is known to usually originate in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. This means the top quarter nearest your armpit. There are many different types which all require different treatment plans including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
What are the survival rates?
In the last 40 years, survival has doubled and early detection is always important, however, about 65% of sufferers survive for over 20 years following their illness.
“If caught at the earliest stage, almost all sufferers will survive their illness for 5 years or more.”
If caught in the late stages, that figure drops dramatically to 3 in 10 surviving past 5 years. So it is absolutely essential you know how to check your breasts.
What do you need to do to check yourself?
Every month, midway through your menstrual cycle (so approximately 14 days after your period) you should feel around your breast and armpit with the palm of your hand using the fingers to feel for any new irregularities.
“Hold your hand flat with your fingers straight and together. By doing this you will get used to realising what is normal for you and then, should anything change, you will be able to tell.”
Other symptoms to look out for include:
- changes to the skin – does it look or feel different than before?
- puckering under the skin of the breast.
- discharge from the nipple or bleeding.
- a visible lump or pain that is new and you haven’t experienced before.
- sores or rashes across the breast and nipple.
- any changes of direction in the nipple, e.g. it being pulled in from the breast and now in a different position than before.
This list is not exhaustive, so please don’t ignore anything that is different for you. Your GP will always be happy to see you if you have any worries, it is so much better to have a checkup than leave things.
So tomorrow on Blogtober I am talking “couples” as it’s National Boyfriend Day. As you read from my post yesterday “all about me”, I’m married so it will probably have a more marital focus. Until then, have a lovely day!
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!