Checking our breasts is an important thing we must do as women. In the UK, one in eight of us will experience breast cancer in our lifetime, and only a third of us actively check our breasts for lumps, bumps, and other abnormalities
Being able to identify symptoms of breast cancer quickly is key for early prevention and sharing tips on how to self-examine could save a friend, a colleague or family member. Cancer doesn’t discriminate against people with breast augmentations, but the signs and symptoms can certainly be recognised, caught early and treated all the same.
How to check your breasts for lumps after a breast augmentation
It is vital to get to grips with your own breasts, knowing how they look, feel and what’s normal for you. Although your breasts may change at a certain time of the month, as you age, and after you’ve had children or surgery, it’s important to recognise the difference between these changes in order to identify potential health problems.
Before you go ahead and self-examine, it’s important to wait until six weeks after your breast augmentation when they’re fully recovered. By this point, you’ll be able to recognise scar tissue from regular tissue, making it easier to find any hard bits that shouldn’t be there.
Here’s eight quick & easy checks you can do at home (whether you’ve had a boob job or not)
- Stand in front of a mirror or lay flat on your back
- Raise your left arm, bending at the elbow, and rest it against the top of your head
- First look at your left breast to recognise any swelling, changes in how your breasts look such as asymmetry, skin discoloration or inversions of the nipples
- Place your hands on your hips, press in firmly and repeat the same checks
- Working like a clock face, use three middle fingers in a circular motion all the way around the breast, checking for lumps in the breast tissue. Start from a 12-o clock position and work your way to 9-o clock. The closer you feel towards the nipple, the more of your glands you will be able to feel and examine.
- Make your way up to the armpit area and check the tissue around the lymph nodes. To make this check more effective, clench your fists together tightly in front of you until you can recognise the `V` shape of your large breast muscle. You want to be feeling around the lymph nodes directly behind it. Your lymph nodes will feel like little peas on a string.
- Feel around and on top of the nipple for lumps, and give them a gentle squeeze to check for discharge
- Repeat each step for the right breast
Click here to see our GP Dr Priyanka show us the ways in which you can self-examine your breasts each month in order to help you notice any abnormal changes.
Breast examination is the same with implants as it is without because the implants are placed either in front or behind the muscle and away from the breast tissues. Any defects with the breast tissue can still be detected as long as we divide the breast into four parts to examine: two upper (inner and outer) and two lower (inner and outer).
If you have any concerns about your breasts, you should contact your GP as soon as possible. At Pall Mall, we offer private GP appointments with same and next day appointments available. Click here to find out more.