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Check your breasts

Thanks to growing awareness, many women are now checking their breasts, seeking treatment sooner, and more are surviving breast cancer. Men get breast cancer too, but we know that many women and particularly men are still not making regular checks, so read on and start today!

8 common signs to check for – women and men

  1. Any unusual change in the shape or size of one of your breasts
  2. If one breast has changed and become lower than the other.
  3. Changes in skin colour or a rash around the nipple.
  4. A nipple that has become pulled in or changed its position or shape (retraction of the nipples is normal in some women).
  5. Puckering or dimpling of the skin.
  6. A lump or thickening within the breast or armpit.
  7. Discharge from one nipple or both.
  8. Constant pain in one part of the breast.

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chance of successful treatment and cure. Remember 9 out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous!

When to check your breasts

Examine your breasts once a month, for women preferably immediately after the end of your period. For women who do not have periods and for men, check yourself on the same day each month. If you have any doubts, please consult your doctor.

How to check

Begin by facing a mirror or lying down... but see the guided instruction from Breast Cancer Now here

One for the boys

Men Get Breast Cancer Too! Did you know that 350 men a year in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer? As with women, it usually affects older men in the 60 – 70 age bracket, but it can be found in men of any age. The diagnosis of breast cancer in men, as well as the treatment, is very similar to that for women.

A grant from Walk the Walk helped fund Breast Cancer Now’s Male Breast Cancer Study, which has the largest collection of DNA and tumour samples from men with breast cancer in the world. Scientists are looking into both the genetic causes and treatments for male breast cancer. Read more information from Breast Cancer Now about breast cancer in men here

Did you know?

  • 38% of breast cancers in the UK could be prevented by improved diet, physical activity and body weight. *
  • 12% could be prevented by physical activity alone. *

*Based on current statistics provided by The World Cancer Research Fund. 


  • 1 in 8 women in the UK will experience some form of breast cancer during their lifetime. The statistics are very similar across the Western World.
  • Whilst more women are being successfully treated and surviving primary breast cancer, a lot more research is still needed into secondary breast cancer in women. 
  • A man can have an increased risk of breast cancer, if a number of close female relatives have been affected by breast cancer, particularly at a young age. Men can inherit the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which also cause breast cancer in women
  • Many men are diagnosed with breast cancer relatively late because they didn’t realise breast cancer could affect them too.

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