How to self-check for signs of breast cancer
- Feel your breasts – many women prefer to do this in the shower. Look for any lumps, painful areas, dimpled or flattened skin, or anything different from the last time you checked.
- Stand in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips and your shoulders straight. Look at the shape, colour and size of your breasts and nipples. Look for any changes to their usual shape and colour, any discharge from the nipple (without squeezing) and any redness, rash or swelling.
- Do an extra check – feel your breasts by lying down with one arm bent above your head. Put three fingers together and, keeping them flat, feel the entire area from your collarbone down, including your armpits. Press softly at first, then more firmly.
- If there are any changes, check with your doctor, even if you've had a mammogram recently.
- There is also an app now available that reminds you to monitor your breasts, and shows you how. Breast Cancer Foundation NZ has launched Pre Check, which helps you "know your normal". The app is available on App Store for iphones and Google Play for android phones. For more information on how to download it, go to breastcancerfoundation.org.nz/precheck#download