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'Too few women' do regular breast checks

17 November 2015 10:26

Women are advised to check their breasts every four to six weeks

Women are advised to check their breasts every four to six weeks

A breast cancer charity is urging women to carry out regular checks for signs of the disease.

The call comes as the results of a new survey suggest millions of women are not checking their breasts every four to six weeks, as advised.

Breast Cancer Care says its research shows a third of women are failing to regularly examine themselves.

One in five of them, the poll shows, are not carrying out the checks because they are not sure of how to do so correctly.

Just over one in 10 (11%) of non-checkers aged over 55, meanwhile, say they rely on their three-yearly mammogram.

The charity adds that the survey shows although the vast majority (96%) know they should always seek medical advice if they discover a lump, large proportions of women are unaware of other signs of breast cancer.

Nearly two fifths of those surveyed, for example, did not know they should look out for a rash or redness on the nipple or breast.

More than a quarter, meanwhile, were unaware that an inverted nipple can be a sign of breast cancer.

Other possible symptoms include a discharge from the nipple, something 23% of those surveyed were not aware of.

Breast cancer is something that can be covered among travellers by a cancer travel insurance policy.

The charity's chief executive is Samia al Qadhi. She says while the prospect of being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a frightening one, regular checks can make early detection more likely and increase the chances of the disease being successfully treated.

She says women need to begin getting to know their breasts, be aware of what they should look out for and carry out checks before they require screening and between appointments.

That, Ms al Qadhi adds, will enable women to quickly identify any unusual changes and get them checked out.

She adds that while there is no correct way to check, the key is to look and feel in a way that is comfortable for each woman.