As you may already know, during the month of October, my team and I are fundraising money for Breast Cancer Awareness. The statistics of this disease are scary. As many as 8 women per day (in Australia) lose their fight against breast cancer. Breast cancer impacts women across the world, and I’m sure many girls in the BBG Community know someone who has been affected.
Being breast aware and learning how to check ourselves, is one of the most important tools we have in the fight against breast cancer.
Today I’m going to teach you how to become a “breastpert” (breast expert), so that you can take control of your breast health. I thought I’d also share some helpful information from our friends at the McGrath Foundation that can help you actively care for your breasts.
Here are the four ways you can become a breastpert:
Are you aware of your breast health?
Being breast aware is all about knowing how your own breasts look and feel. Do you know what is normal for your breasts? It is really important to become familiar with your breasts in order to care for them best. As you’ve probably noticed, our breasts can change a lot over our lifetime. How your breasts felt two years ago might be very different to today! Not to mention breasts change throughout that time of month as well.
Look at the shape of your breasts and feel your chest all over. Get to be ‘breast friends’. Women come in all different shapes and sizes, and so do our breasts. It’s up to you to learn what is normal for your breasts; after all, you’re in the best position!
Are you confident you would be able to detect a change in your breasts?
I know most women probably think they would notice a change in their breasts pretty quickly. But some changes can be small, or we ignore them thinking it is nothing to be concerned about. Breasts change quite a bit due to hormones and our monthly cycle, so it can be easy to miss something.
We should all aim to get to know our breasts better. In doing that, we’re much more likely to pick up any change to our breast that may need to be checked by a doctor.
Do you know the risk factors for breast cancer?
Unfortunately, over the years there has been some misinformation shared around about breast cancer. There have been a number of myths surrounding breast cancer risk factors, which has led to a bit of confusion. Knowing the scientifically proven risk factors for breast cancer can help us to understand who might be more at risk of developing breast cancer.
The main risk factors for developing breast cancer include:
- Being a woman
- Drinking alcohol
- Age (our chances of getting breast cancer increase as we get older)
- Starting menstruation early in life, or starting menopause later in life
- A strong family history of breast cancer.
Understanding these risk factors can help you identify if you are more at risk of developing breast cancer. If any of these risk factors apply to you, please be extra vigilant in checking your breasts each and every month.
Are you examining your breasts regularly?
A self-examination is one of the easiest ways to care for your breasts! It’s recommended that we check our breasts at the same time each month, and a few days after our period has ended is the best time. That way any hormonal changes that affect our breast tissue are taken into account.
When performing a self-examination, some of the changes to look for include:
- A new lump or general lumpiness
- A change in the size or shape of your breast
- Skin changes such as dimpling or redness
- Changes in the nipple
- An unusual pain that doesn’t go away.
These changes may not be a symptom of breast cancer, but it is important to get checked by your doctor to make sure. I want you all to be in the ‘breast’ health possible!
So there you have it girls! That’s how you can become a breastpert. Be aware, confident, knowledgeable and behave accordingly by checking your breasts. Spread the word among your friends (or share this blog) so that they can be breastperts too!
I’m so proud of our fundraising efforts so far, you girls are so amazing! It’s so nice that we, as a community, are so supportive of a cause that personally affects us. This is such a great opportunity to help women and to show our support for them, so thank you all for being involved!
If you haven’t made a donation yet, there is still time! You can use the pop up on this page or head to our donation page to contribute to the cause.
Love, Kayla xx
*All information about how to become a breastpert and care for your breasts kindly provided by the McGrath Foundation