Breast Awareness – For Women, AND Men

Breast Awareness For Women, AND Men

Breast Awareness

Being Breast Aware

What Should I Look for When I Check My Breasts ?

Basic Technique

Breast Picture Gallery (coming soon)

Being Breast Aware

It’s sensible for all men, and women, to be breast aware and know the technique for breast self examination (BSE). 

  • WOMEN, and MEN, should check their breasts using the same technique.

  • Partners can check each other’s breasts.

You may be shown other techniques but they all aim to check your vulnerable areas.

  • You should know the look, shape and texture of your breasts.

  • Breast cancer affects 1 woman in 12 in the UK.

  • It’s rare for men, but not unknown.

  • 9 out of 10 lumps found, are not malignant – ie. they are benign/non-cancerous – so, if you find a lump, let a qualified medical practitioner check it out.

  • Either visit your GP or go to a Family Planning/Well Woman Clinic.

In the UK, women aged 50 to 65 are automatically invited for free mammography (special breast X-ray) every 3 years. 

What Should I Look for When I Check My Breasts ?

When you make breast awareness part of your routine health care, the stress of regular checking is reduced. 

Check for any:

  • Changes to the usual look or feel of your breasts.

  • Change to your nipple(s) and any discharge or secretion from them.

  • Change in the direction your nipple(s) point.

  • Puckering or swelling of your breast skin. 

  • Bulges in your breast contour.

  • ‘Orange peel’ skin, dimpling or tethering – ie. as if something is stuck to the inside of it.

  • Swelling of your upper arm or armpit. 

Basic Technique

Looking at yourself in the mirror: 

  • Stand upright, then lean forwards, then

  • Tilt sideways with your arms by your sides.

  • Place your hands on your head – to stretch the breast tissue – and repeat looking, moving and checking as before.

  • Place your hands on your hips and repeat viewing, move and check again, as before.

Then, wherever you’re most comfortable and relaxed – eg. in the bath or lying on the bed:

  • Stretch one arm behind your head.

  • Feel, with the flat of your other hand, your opposite breast firmly but gently.

  • Start by squeezing your nipple and look to see whether any fluid comes out.

  • Feel in a Catherine wheel (circular) motion around your nipple area with your hand, round and round the breast area and up into your armpit.

Throughout this time, be aware of the lumps you are feeling. You will find lumps the first time you check, because your breasts are made up of many glands, surrounded by fat.

  • These lumps and bumps form a base line from which you can notice any changes.

If you’re in any doubt, ask a qualified medical practitioner, Family Planning/Well Woman Clinic to check them for you.

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