|Breast Screening by mammography is the most
effective way to detect breast cancer in its early
stages. Mammography is an X-ray technique used to
visualise the breast tissue, enabling detection of
any abnormalities or disease. Ultrasound and other
more specialised techniques may supplement
mammography, if deemed necessary by your
consultant radiologist. |
Look after yourself - careful
breast examination is a simple test which you
should do regularly. If you find something wrong,
go and see your GP. In most cases it won't be
breast cancer, but just a small cyst or benign
lump which can be dealt with easily, especially
when found early. A few minutes, once a month is
all it takes to check if your breasts are healthy.
Carry out the examination at the same time each
month, and if still menstruating, this should be
after your period.
begin with, look at your breasts in the mirror,
first with your arms by your side, then with your
arms raised above your head, turning from side to
side. Then place your hands on your hips and push
your chest forwards.
It is important to
remember that no two breasts are the same. One
breast will probably be a little larger than the
You should then look for;
- any change in the size or shape of either
- any change in either nipple, or discharge of
- any unusual dimple or puckering of the skin
- veins standing out more than usual for you
Lie down on a bed and
make yourself comfortable with your head on a
pillow. Examine one breast at a time. Put a folded
towel under your shoulder blade on the side you
are examining. This helps to spread the breast
tissue so it is easier to examine.
your right hand to examine your left breast and
vice versa. Put the hand you are not using under
your head. Keep your fingers together and use the
flat part of the fingers, not the tips. Start from
the collar bone above your breast. Trace a
continuous spiral around your breast, moving your
fingers in small circles. Feel gently but firmly,
for any unusual lump or thickening.
around the outside of the breast first. When you
get back to your starting point, work around again
in a slightly smaller circle and so on. Keep on
doing this until you have worked right up to your
nipple. Make sure you have covered every part of
your breast. You may find a ridge of tissue in a
half moon shape under your breast. This is quite
Finally, examine your armpit.
Again, use the flat of your fingers and the same
small circular movements to feel for any lumps.
Start right up in the hollow of your armpit and
gradually work your way down towards your breast.
Breast screening is available from Nuffield
Hospitals Health Screening. Click here to find out