Make a life-saving decision: check your breasts!

Make a life-saving decision: check your breasts!

Why is this simple routine so important?

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers for women in the UK. One woman is diagnosed every 10 minutes, with around 55,000 women and 370 men developing the condition every year.

In total, 1 in 7 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, with 8 out of 10 cases occurring in women aged 50 and over; making regular self-examination crucial.

We spoke to Dr Amisha Mehta about what patients need to know regarding this essential self-care routine:


How often should women be examining themselves? Does it change with age or is it consistent throughout life?

Self-examination should be done approximately monthly but there is no fixed rule. It is important to do throughout your life, regardless of whether you’re menstruating or not. By looking at your breasts regularly, one is able to establish when a change does occur or if anything abnormal is present.


What should women be looking for specifically? Is it just lumps, or anything else?

A change in size, outline or shape in your breast, or a change in look of feel of the skin such as dimpling. Additionally, any new lump or swelling in the breast or armpit area. With the nipple, look for any discharge and a change in position of the nipple including it being pulled in or being a different direction. Any rash or change in texture to the skin, discomfort or pain in one breast that does not go away should all be noted.


How can a GP help with teaching how to self-examine?

A GP is able to show you how to self-examine and teach you the way to examine both breasts and the underarm area for any changes. They will discuss the following: know what's normal for you, look at your breasts and how to examine them, discuss what changes to look for. They can also advise on when to seek further help and help schedule further investigations. Depending on your age, they will also advise on when is best to undergo further screening. Routine breast screening occurs between the ages of 50-70 years old. 


What else can (med)24 do if a woman has any concerns?

With same day and next day appointments available, there are always doctors on hand to discuss concerns at the clinic. If required, they can review and examine you. If further investigation is needed, they can refer you on to specialist care.



To book your GP appointment or get advice, call us on +44 (0)20 3873 6322  or email us at