Are you breast aware?

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes and will change throughout life.

A woman’s menstrual cycle, pregnancy, age and weight may alter the size, shape and feel of your breasts.

Get to know your breasts so that you will know what is normal for you.

LOOK at the shape and appearance of your breasts and nipples in the mirror. Do this with your hands by your side. Then raise your arms above your head and have another look.

FEEL your breasts and nipples, noticing anything that is not normal for you. This is easy to do in the shower. Raise one arm and with fingers, feel each breast gently for a lump or thickening. Use your right hand to examine your left breast and your left hand for your right breast. Feel from your collarbone to below the bra-line, and under your armpit too.

KNOW what changes to look for. These include

  1. Lump: new lump or lumpiness or thickening of your breast
  2. Shape or Size: A change in shape and size. One breast may become larger than the other.
  3. Texture: Changes in the skin such as dimpling or puckering
  4. Colour: The appearance of redness or a rash on the skin or around the nipple.
  5. Nipple changes: Changes in the nipple direction or shape, pulled in (inverted), or flattened or unusual discharge. Changes on or around the nipple such as rash, flaky or crusted skin.
  6. Pain or swelling: Unusual pain in your breast or armpit. Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.

If you notice any of these changes, please see your doctor.

For women over 40, another important part of breast health is regular screening mammograms every two years.

Breastscreen Tasmania provides free screening mammograms to women 40 years and over who have no breast cancer symptoms.

Women aged 50 to 74 years are encouraged to attend as the benefit of screening mammography is greatest for women in this age group.

You do not need a doctor’s referral.

For more information, or to book an appointment, contact BreastScreen Tasmania on 13 20 50.

- Department of Health
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