October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so here’s a little information on the most common cancer in women worldwide and, what you should be doing to look after those lovely lady humps!


  • In the UK every year around 11,500 women and 80 men die from breast cancer – that’s nearly 1,000 deaths each month
  • Breast cancer is on the increase in developing countries, where the disease is often not diagnosed until it’s in late stage
  • 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime
  • Breast cancer is not exclusive to women though, as around 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK
  • Thanks to research, more people are surviving breast cancer than ever before
  • In the UK, more than 80% of women with breast cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis but around 60,000 women are still diagnosed with breast cancer each year
  • Click here to dispel some of those common breast cancer myths


What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

  • a change in size or shape of the breast
  • a lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
  • redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
  • a change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like orange peel)
  • discharge (liquid) that comes from the nipple without squeezing
  • your nipple becoming inverted (pulled in) or changing its position or shape
  • a swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
  • constant pain in your breast or your armpit


How should you check your breasts?

There’s no right or wrong way to check your breasts for any changes but get used to looking at and feeling your breasts regularly. You can do this in the bath or shower, when you use body lotion, or when you get dressed – whatever suits you best.

Remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone.

Everyone’s breasts look and feel different – some people have lumpy breasts, or one breast larger than the other, or breasts that are different shapes. Some have one or both nipples pulled in (inverted), which can be there from birth or happen when the breasts are developing. When you check your breasts, try to be aware of any changes that are different for you.


What should you do if you find a change?

Don’t panic – most breast changes are likely to be normal or due to a benign (not cancer) breast condition rather than being a sign of breast cancer. I have cystic breast disease for example, so my breasts are generally quite lumpy anyway. However, if you notice a change that feels different for you, go and see your GP as soon as you can because detecting it early provides a better chance of beating it!.

Upon examination of your breasts, your GP may feel that there is no need for further investigation, or they may refer you to a breast clinic. For more information about what happens at a breast clinic and the tests you may have, you can read about what happens here.

My experience of mammograms, of which I’ve had a few, is not the most pleasant half hour I’ve ever spent, but the short term pain is worth the peace of mind.

What can you do to support breast cancer awareness?

Like Macmillan and Marie Curie Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Care advocate fundraising events to help raise both funds and awareness. October 14th is The Big Pink and Breast Cancer Care suggest holding a Big Pink event – a night in with your bezzy mates and some pink fizz; a morning tea with some pink fondant fancies (ooooo, I used to love them!); or anything else you fancy with a pink theme and, BE BREAST AWARE – you know it makes sense!