Are you confident that you could spot the signs of breast cancer? In a recent study conducted by Avon Products Inc, 19,000 women were questioned about 10 common signs of breast cancer. Only 2% of the women sampled could identify all 10 symptoms correctly. Furthermore, 25% of them thought that a breast lump was the only sign that could be detected without any medical testing. Are you familiar with these 10 signs?

  1. Change in nipple position – your nipple pointing up, or down or in  a different direction than your normal
  2. Inward pulling of the nipple – when your nipple no longer points outward but into the breast instead
  3. Pain in breast tissue – including pain in the breast or in the armpit area
  4. Puckering or dimpling of the skin on your breast – this can look like a dent or textured like an orange’s peel
  5. Discharge from the nipple – blood or other fluid coming from the nipple
  6. Rash – rash on the skin of the nipple
  7. Redness – reddening of the skin on the breast
  8. Lump – a lump or thickening of tissue in the breast or under the armpit
  9. Change in breast size – a change in the size of your breast or nipple
  10. Change in shape – a change in the shape of your breast or nipple

The Department of Health recommends that you build your awareness of how you breasts look and feel. This helps with faster identification of changes to your breasts and nipples. Performing an exam by feeling the breast and armpit tissue, on each side, as well as looking at your breasts in the mirror from a variety of angles, are some ways to become more familiar with your breasts.

If you notice any changes in your breasts or nipples, or have questions about the 10 signs listed above, please contact your family doctor for a check-up and breast exam.

Katie Kelly, Physiotherapist

Msc. PT, Bsc