Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, with around 55,000 women diagnosed in the UK each year. Over the years, substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
However, there is still a long way to go. It is important to regularly check your breasts for any changes as this can help discover breast cancer early. If you notice something that isn’t normal, for you, it is important to visit your GP for a check-up.
Signs and symptoms
Healthy breasts come in all shapes and sizes and it is important you familiarise yourself with what’s normal for you. Knowing your breasts inside out will help you to spot if there are any changes or something that doesn’t feel ‘quite right’. As many of you will know, checking them regularly is essential, and once a month is ideal – but remember, it’s not just lumps you are looking for.
Changes to your breasts to be aware of can include:
If you do notice any changes in your breasts, no matter how small you think it is, it is important to speak to your GP as soon as possible.
Signs of Secondary Breast Cancer
Secondary breast cancer (or metastatic cancer) occurs when breast cancer cells spread from the breast to another part or parts of the body. Breast cancer cells can spread through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.
Early signs of secondary breast cancer can be really non-specific, so, if you have any symptom that is not normal for you, get it checked with your GP or speak to your oncologist/local breast cancer centre.
Make 2nds Count has a list of common secondary breast cancer signs and symptoms you should look out for. We have included them below:
Remember men can get breast cancer too
Although it is rare, men can also be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Around 350 men are diagnosed each year according to stats by Cancer Research UK. There are a few symptoms to look out for, and the most common one is a lump in the chest area. Ulcers and swelling on the chest should also be looked out for.
Fiona’s top tips
Finally, if you are looking for breast cancer travel insurance, take a look at our dedicated breast cancer travel insurance page here.