It is important for woman, regardless of their age, to know their body and be breast aware. Look and feel for changes that are not normal for you, there is no right or wrong way to check your
Regular checks for any changes in your breasts are important. Checking your breasts can be done in any way that is comfortable for you, many woman check while in the bath or shower.
In Ireland, 1 in 10 women will develop breast cancer. Men can also develop breast cancer in rare cases.
We encourage you and the women in your life to be breast aware
- Understand how your breasts normally look and feel; this will help you detect changes sooner.
- Know what changes to check for (e.g., shape, size, skin puckering/dimpling/rash, swelling in armpit/collarbone, lump, nipple discharge/inversion, constant pain).
- Look and feel for changes monthly.
- Discuss any changes immediately with your GP or call your local breast clinic.
- Attend routine breast screening services that are available to you after the age of 50.
How to protect yourself against breast cancer?
Breast cancer can occur regardless of how healthy you are, but there are a number of lifestyle choices you can make to protect yourself from breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Eating a healthy diet and being active reduce fat cells in the body. Fat cells in your body make hormones, high levels of some hormones can increase cancer risks.
- Keep Active: Physically active women have a lower risk of developing cancer than inactive women. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 4-5 times a week is recommended.
- Refrain from smoking: Smoking causes 30% of all cancers and should be avoided in order to reduce any cancer risks. Click here for information on quitting smoking.
- Limit Alcohol: Limit your risk by drinking no more than the recommended weekly limit. For more info click here.
- Breast Feeding: Breast feeding helps women reduce their risk of breast cancer. It is recommended to breast feed for six months if possible. Click here for breast feeding support and advice.
- Breast Screening: Breast screening is when a mammogram (x-ray) of your breasts is taken to check for breast cancer. Mammograms can pick up changes when they are too small to see or feel. Breast screening is a very effective way of detecting breast cancer early and as a result improves breast cancer treatments and outcomes.
BreastCheck is a National Screening Programme that offers a free mammogram, every two years to women between the ages of 50 – 64. You can contact BreastCheck on Freephone by calling 1800 454555.
This is a vital service that detects breast cancer early on, which improves treatments and outcomes for patients.
We at Breast Cancer Research encourage you to avail of this fantastic service.