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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Symptoms of breast cancer and reducing your risk

​​​​​​​Be breast aware

Being breast aware is about knowing what your breasts look and feel like. Checking them regularly can help you dete​ct when something changes.​ 

Any c​hanges may be h​armless, but you should get them checked by your GP straightaway. ​

Things you should ​look out for are:

  • any lumps, thickening or bumpy areas in your breast or armpit

  • changes in appearance or shape of your breast​, like puckered or dimpled skin​​

  • discomfort or pain that's unusual​​, particularly if it is new and persistent​

  • ​changes to your nipple like dis​​charge, a rash, red areas that won’t heal, or a change in your nipple position (pointing differently or pulled in).

You can develop breast cancer at any time. F​or women of screening age, this can include​ the time in between breast screening appointments. 

If you notice any changes in your breasts that are not normal for you, speak to your GP straightaway.

Breast cancer symptoms on NHS Choices website

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer on Breast Cancer Now website

​How to reduce your risk

Breast cancer is not a preventable disease. However, you can help lo​wer your risk of breast cancer in the following ways:

  • register for breast scree​ning when you reach 50 and regularly attend your breast ​screening appointments​​ if you're aged between 50 to 69

  • be breast aware – check your breasts regularly

  • maintain a healthy wei​ght - increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause

  • exercise regularly - studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by as much as a third

  • reduce the amount of alcohol you drink - even low levels of alcohol intake have been linked with an increase in risk

  • stopping smoking - smokers are at increased risk of breast cancer, along with many other types of cancer

  • breastfeed your babie​s, where possible - studies have shown that women who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast cancer than those who don't

  • talk to your GP if you think you have a family history of breast cancer

The bre​ast screening programme and how to make an appointment

Breast cancer: family history check​

Breast cancer prevention on NHS Choices website​

Stop smoking with the Help2Quit stop smoking ​service

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