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Check your breasts

Cancer is a scary word and breast cancer is not something you want to think about during your pregnancy. But October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and MAMA wants to encourage all women to check your own breasts, and then to encourage your mother and grandmother to check their own breasts every single month.

According to Cancer Association of South Africa breast cancer is the most common cancer among South African women. However finding a lump in your breast is not a death sentence if it is detected early enough!  That is why every woman should regularly check her own breasts for signs.

What should you feel for during a breast self-examination?

You should feel for any changes in one breast that are not present in the other breast. Always compare your two breasts. Feel them with your fingers. Lift your arms above your heard and feel again. Run your flat hand all around your breasts and under your armpit.

Look out for:

1.   A new mass in the breast or armpit.

2.   A new change in the breast or nipple (colour, texture, size, tenderness, retraction of a nipple).

3.   Discharge from the nipple, particularly clear or blood-stained discharge.

4.   Change in the skin.  It is unusual to get an infection if you are not breastfeeding.

If there are any new changes, you should go to the clinic and ask them to check it.

MAMAs remember that your breasts change during pregnancy and breastfeeding and lumps are common during this time! Most often this is normal and nothing to worry about. If you are worried ask your clinic to check for you. 

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