Breast changes


Breast awareness is important for women of all ages, even if you’re having regular mammograms.

You don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts. Take the time to get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts as part of everyday activities like showering, dressing, putting on body lotion or simply looking in the mirror. Knowing what is normal for you will help you to detect any new breast or nipple changes.

Breast changes

Breast changes to look out for include:

  • new lump or lumpiness, especially if it's only in one breast
  • change in the size or shape of your breast
  • change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
  • an unusual pain that doesn't go away.

Nine out of ten breast changes aren't due to cancer, but it’s important to see a doctor to be sure. If you find a breast change that is unusual for you, see your GP without delay.

Nipple changes

Nipple changes to look out for include:

  • any crusting, ulcer, or redness
  • any change in the shape or inversion of the nipple
  • a new discharge coming from the nipple

Most nipple discharges are not cancer. However, a cancer is more likely if:

  • discharge comes out without squeezing the nipple
  • discharge comes from a single duct in one nipple
  • the discharge is bloody
  • you are over 60 years old and it is a new discharge

If you experience any change in your nipple that is unusual for you, see your GP without delay.

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