Be breast cancer aware this October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Stockport Council, NHS GM Stockport Locality and their health partners are urging everyone to regularly check for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

This annual campaign highlights the importance of breast cancer awareness, education and research.

Breast cancer can affect anyone and is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK but when detected in the early stages there is a good chance of recovery.

Possible signs and symptoms of breast cancer can include:
• a lump in the breast
• thickening of the skin or tissue of the breast, or dimpling of the skin of the breast
• a lump or swelling in either armpit
• a change in the shape or size of the breast, such as swelling in all or part of the breast
• a nipple turning in (inverted nipple)
• a rash (like eczema) on the nipple
• discharge or bleeding from the nipple
• pain or discomfort in the breast that does not go away, but this is rare.

Getting into the habit of checking your breasts every month means you get to know what is normal for you. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms or anything that is unusual for you, you should contact your GP.

Dr Simon Woodworth, Associate Medical Director, NHS GM Stockport Locality, said:
“Breast cancer can affect both men and women. Don’t hesitate to contact your GP if you notice something unusual in your breast, like a lump or nipple discharge. It's unlikely you have cancer, but it's best to get your symptoms checked. Your GP will examine your breast and reassure you, or can refer you for tests and scans for breast cancer if needed.”

Councillor Wendy Meikle, Deputy Leader of Stockport Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education said:
“I urge everyone to make checking your chest/breasts part of your regular self care routine and encourage your friends and family to do the same. If you notice unusual changes to your breasts, speak to your GP as soon as possible. It is important to get checked out as soon as you can. GPs want to see patients so that they can reassure you or refer you for more tests if needed”

To find out more about how to check your breasts watch this short video from Breast Cancer Now.

Coppa Feel has information and how to check yourself.

The NHS guidance on breast cancer symptoms, and how to check, can be found on the NHS website.

This year you can “wear it pink” to help raise awareness for people with breast cancer. Follow Wear it Pink to find out how to get involved this year.

For healthy lifestyle information visit Healthy Stockport.