How to check your breasts for changes

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Ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, and the Big Pink Run, here’s a guide on how to check your breasts

woman in pink and white polka dot shirt

Image by Angiola Harry via Unsplash

Every 29 seconds, the news is broken to someone else that they have breast cancer. More than 3,500 women and 34 men are diagnosed with it each year. Almost every family in Ireland will be affected by the disease at some point. Breast cancer is more common in women over fifty, though it can affect anyone male or female. It occurs when cells in your breast change and grow in an abnormal way, according to the Irish Cancer Society. Being aware of the signs of breast cancer is vital in catching it early and preventing it’s spread to other organs. That’s why it’s important for everyone to know the signs and do regular checks on their breasts.

Changes in your breast to be aware of:
  • A change in size or shape
  • Change of direction or shape of the nipple
  • Changes on or around the nipple
  • Dimpling, puckering, or redness of the skin
  • Unusually large pores, also known as ‘orange peel’
  • Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
  • A lump of any size or thickening of your breast
  • Constant pain in breasts or armpit
How to check your breasts:

Knowing how to check your breasts for lumps is another useful skill that you should incorporate into your daily routine. Start by looking for changes in a mirror so that you can see your breasts from different angles.

Then feel for changes. Doing this with soapy water or in the shower is easiest. Make sure to check the entire breast tissue, including under your arms and around your collar bones. For more details on how to check your boobs, see here.

Big Pink Run

Crossy, James Patrice and Shane Byrne

The Great Pink Run campaign with Glanbia has officially launched for 2022. From 9 to 16 October, participants can take part in the new hybrid event. Live physical events will be held in Dublin Leopards Town Race Course on Sunday 9 October and in Kilkenny Castle Park on Sunday 16 October. Alternatively, you can join in virtually anytime throughout the week in you own community.

The proceeds from this year’s Big Pink Run will go into two main areas of funding. The first is more research regarding metastatic disease progression. The second is the investment of driving progression and speed of scientific discovery from research settings into clinical trials.

The Great Pink Run is the largest fundraiser for Breast Cancer Ireland, having raised €5.4 million euro to support pioneering research across Ireland since 2011. Developing new and more effective targeted therapies for patients diagnosed with breast cancer is the primary aim of the campaign.

To participate in this year’s Great Pink Run, register here. Alternatively, gather your tribe at home to run, walk, scoot or cycle in your own community during the week of the national event. Share your photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #greatpinkrun, #GPR2022, and #gatheryourtribe.

The 10k event in Dublin starts at 1pm, while the 5k event starts at 2pm, on Sunday 9 October.

Similarly, the 10k event in Kilkenny starts at 12pm, while the 5k event starts at 1pm on Sunday 16 October.