Breast cancer – be breast aware

5th May 2023

Posted by Dr Michelle Wright

Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and statistically, 1 in 8 women in Switzerland will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. This Health Matters is part one in a mini-series on breast cancer, starting with the importance of being breast aware and using self-examination to help early diagnosis. The fantastic charity Coppa Feel in the UK describes things that we can see and things that we can feel. 

In terms of things we can see, be on the lookout for:  

  • Changes in breast skin texture – puckering or dimpling of the skin for example – skin that looks a bit like orange peel. 
  • Also, nipple discharge – liquid coming out of your nipples without you having to squeeze them. 
  • Staying on the subject of nipples – nipples that appear to be inverted (pulled into the breast) or have some other change in shape or position, as well as any rash or crusting of the nipple, or the area around the nipple.  
  • It’s also important to be on the lookout for swelling in either armpit, or around your collarbone area – remember I said breast tissue also extends here – as well as any new change in size or shape of one of your breasts that you notice.  

And then things we can feel: 

  • Obviously, any lumps or thickening. 
  • But also any unusual pain in one of your breasts, or your armpits.  

Check in next week to look at the latest evidence around hormones and breast cancer risk.

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