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Be Breast Aware

This leaflet tells you about being breast aware. It includes information about the signs and symptoms of screening, changes to look out for and what to do if you notice a change.


Published: February 2021, Version 5


― How to be breast aware 
The breast awareness 5 point code
― How do I check my breasts?
― What should I look for? 
What should I do if I find a change?
― Breast screening
― Does breast cancer run in families?
Contact details


How to be breast aware 

This leaflet tells you how to be breast aware. Breast awareness is part of general body awareness. It is important to get to know how your breasts look and feel normally, this will help you notice any changes that are different. Although uncommon, men can get breast cancer so it is important that men are breast aware too.

The breast awareness 5 point code

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Know what changes to look for
  • Look and Feel
  • Report any changes to your GP without delay
  • Attend for routine breast screening if you are aged over 50

How do I check my breasts?

There is no right or wrong way to check your breasts. You decide what is comfortable for you. You can check in the shower or when:

  • Getting dressed
  • Lying down
  • Standing in front of the mirror

Remember to check all parts of your breasts, armpits up to your collar bone and in between your breasts.


What should I look for? 

  • A change in size or shape of one breast
  • Any puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • Any change in the position of the nipple - pulled in or pointing differently
  • Any lumps, thickening or bumpy areas in one breast or the armpit
  • Any discharge or blood from the nipple
  • A rash around the nipple
  • A swelling in your armpit
  • Constant discomfort or pain in one breast that is different from normal

What should I do if I find a change?

If you notice any change in your breast you should talk to your GP or Practice Nurse without delay. Nine out of ten breast changes are not cancer but if there is a problem it is best treated early.

Breast screening

Women aged 50–70 are invited every three years for breast screening. If you are over 70, you can ask for an appointment by contacting your local breast screening centre. The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. It is still important for women over the age of 70 to attend for breast screening.

Does breast cancer run in families?

A small number of breast cancers (5–10%) run in the family. If you are worried about your family history of breast cancer talk to your GP.

Contact details

Visit our Contact us page. We welcome phone calls in Welsh.

For us to contact you as part of this programme, we will need to handle some of your personal information.

If you need more information about this, you can:
• Read our Privacy Notice
• email; or
• phone 02920 104307