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Breast awareness

Self-examination

Everyone’s breasts look and feel different. You may have lumpy breasts, one breast larger than the other, breasts that are different shapes, or one or both nipples that are pulled in (inverted), which can be there from birth or happen when the breasts are developing.

Become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. There’s no right or wrong way to check your breasts for any changes. Try to get used to looking at and feeling your breasts regularly. You can do this in the bath or shower, when you use body lotion, or when you get dressed. Just decide what you are comfortable with and what suits you best.

Remember to check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone.

When you check your breasts, try to be aware of any changes that are different for you.

Know what to look for

I felt a lump,” is a common phrase for those who have had a breast cancer diagnosis, but there are many others symptoms or warning signs to watch for:

  • a new lump in your breast or underarm (armpit)
  • thickening or swelling of part of your breast
  • irritation or dimpling of your breast skin
  • redness or flaky skin in your nipple area or your breast
  • pulling in of your nipple or pain in your nipple area
  • nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • any change in the size or the shape of your breast
  • pain in any area of your breast

Don’t delay

Most breast changes are not likely to be breast cancer. However, if you find a change in your breast that’s unusual for you, see your doctor without delay.

More information

For more information on how to be 'breast aware', visit the Cancer Australia and Cancer Council Australia websites.