Breast Cancer: The Importance Of Knowing Your Body

Breast cancer is something that every woman worries about but I didn't think that I would have to worry about it at the age of 17. Breast cancer isn't something that is common in people as young as myself but it's still important that you check for lumps in your breasts. Believe it or not, breast cancer can also affect 1 in 870 men, which is a small figure in comparison to the 1 in 8 women it can affect (statistics can be found at Cancer Research UK).

A couple of months ago, I was checking my breasts and underarms or lumps and abnormalities. To say I was worried when I came across a lump in one of my breasts would be an understatement. I went to the doctors within a couple of days and was told to return after my period. When I returned, my doctor had told me that the lump seemed to be going down - which was something that I hadn't noticed. Nonetheless, she told me that if I was still worried about it in a month to return, which I did. I'm currently waiting for an appointment in the breast clinic at my local hospital to find out if I should really be worried about this lump.

I'm no longer worried about the lump, as I mentioned, breast cancer is rare within younger females. If I have the scan and it is cancerous, we'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

After having this little scare, I've decided to write a blog post about my experience to inform you about how important it is to check for lumps and abnormalities in your breasts (testicles if you're a male) every 4-6 weeks. As a women, lumps and abnormalities can occur during your period so try to check for these things between your cycles.

Get to know your body, find out your lumps and bumps and if you find something that you've never felt before don't be afraid to check it out with your local GP. If you're that worried about it, you can actually ask for a referral to your local breast clinic - don't just think that it's down to your doctor!

I'm not going to write out all of the ways to self examine yourself, instead here's a link to breastcancer.org where they've written out the steps and things you need to be looking out for when examining your breasts.

Breast cancer can affect any woman so it's important you always check for these things. It's also important to attend your smear tests which checks for cervical cancer. I'm of the generation that had the cervical cancer jabs at school, meaning my smear tests shouldn't be as frequent. As of this moment, the NHS say that women ages 25-49 should have a test every 3 years; 50-64 should be tested every 5 years; and those 65 over should only be tested if they haven't been since the age of 50. Cervical screening is optional and does not always pick up cervical cancer however it could save your life so it's important that you attend them.

Always take 5 minutes out of your day and check your breasts every 4-6 weeks.

UPDATE: I went for my check up and it went really well. The lump was not cancerous and I couldn't be happier!

Until next time...





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