Be aware of your breasts

Scots actress Elaine C Smith fronts an ad campaign.
Scots actress Elaine C Smith fronts an ad campaign.

THE NHS are highlighting breast cancer in a bid to make women more aware of the disease which is the most common form of cancer the UK.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and East Renfrewshire CHCP is concentrating on issues of prevention and support available.

All this month people can visit pick up information on the disease from various places in East Ren such as Barrhead Health and Care Centre, Barrhead Main Street council offices, Eastwood HQ council officers, Dickie building office in Thornliebank, Clarkston Clinic and at local libraries.

Experts say there are key things you can do to lessen your chances of developing breast cancer:

Stay active.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Reduce the frequency and amount of alcohol you drink.

Although diagnoses of the disease have gone up, experts insist the survival rate has also gone up with around two out of three women living 10 years after diagnosis — double the survival rate of 40 years ago.

As with other forms of cancer, the earliest its detected the better the chance of survival.

Things to look out for include:

A lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast.

Discharge from either nipple (which may be streaked with blood).

A lump or swelling in either armpit.

A change in size or shape of one or both breasts.

Dimpling of the skin of your breasts.

A rash on or around your nipple.

A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

Pain in either breast or armpit that is not related to your period.

If you notice any of these changes to your breast or breasts, visit the doctor to get it checked out.