Know your body, protect your health

Your health is invaluable. Protecting it starts with you.

Breast cancer is a serious condition that can be life-changing but by doing regular self-examination, you can notice changes before they become serious.

Get to know your own body and examine yourself regularly. A small action that can make a big difference.

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1) Examine your breasts with your hands on your hips

Stand in front of a mirror with your arms on your hips.

  • Look at the usual size, shape and colour of the breasts.
  • Ensure an even shape without deformation or swelling.
  • Alert your doctor if you notice the following:
    • Dimples in the skin, folds or bulges.
    • Change or inversion of the nipple.
    • Redness, pain, rash or swelling.
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2) Raise your arms and check your breasts

  • Raising your arms makes it easier to notice changes in your breasts.
  • Check for the same changes as in step 1.
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3) Check for signs of nipple discharge

  • Look in front of the mirror for signs of fluid secretion from one or both nipples. This may be watery, milky, yellow liquid or even blood.
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4) Check lying down for breast lumps

  • Lie down.
  • Feel with firm, circular movements with the finger pads.
  • Systematically cover the entire breast.
  • Start at the nipple and expand in circles to the outer edge.
  • You can also make an up-and-down motion.
  • Apply light, medium and firm pressure for different tissue layers.
  • Feel down to the rib cage for deep tissue.
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5) Detect breast lumps while standing or sitting

  • Finally, you can assess your breasts while standing or sitting. Some women find it easier to do this while their skin is wet and slippery and often choose to perform this step in the shower.
  • Use the same hand movements as described in step 4 to cover your entire breast.

Notice a change? Contact your doctor immediately

* It is important to note that regular breast self-examination can help detect changes, but it is not a substitute for regular clinical breast exams by a doctor and mammograms at recommended ages. If you ever have any doubts or notice changes in your breasts, it is advisable to seek immediate medical advice.