October is international breast cancer awareness month. According to CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) breast cancer is the most common cancer among South African women, however, a diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence if it is detected early enough
This is the year to take our health seriously, not only for yourself but for your family. Breast cancer not only affects woman but MEN also!
There’s small steps we can take which could make a huge difference between life and death.
Self Examinations | PinkDrive
How to do a Self Examination
- Stand in front of the mirror and look at your breasts. Lift your arms above your head as though trying to reach the ceiling and look at your breasts in a stretched position.
- Check to see that there are no obvious changes between the two sides: no nipple changes or visible lumps.
- Now feel your breasts. Use the flat surface of your fingers.
- Always keep your hand flat on your breast.
- Apply cream, shower gel, soap or oil to your breasts before starting to feel. This will help your hand glide easily over your skin and make it easier to feel for any lumps.
- Put one hand on your head. The free hand will check the opposite breast.
- Start feeling in the arm pit.
- Now move in the figure of a six and around the entire breast, until you reach the nipple.
- Now go back to the arm pit, moving from top to bottom of the breast, covering the whole area once again.
- Last one now, move from the arm pit in a side to side direction, again covering the whole breast.
- The breast starts from the collar bone, down to your abdominal wall and from your breast bone to mid way through your side.
- Also check if there is a discharge from the nipple. To do this, gently squeeze the nipple to see if any fluid comes through.
- The only time there should be something coming out of the nipple is when you are breast feeding. If the fluid is yellow or green it shows infection. If it is clear or blood stained go straight to the doctor for a check up.
What to look for
- A lump in the breast or arm pit, sizes vary from a marble to a tennis ball
- Increase in size of one breast
- Swelling of glands in armpit
- Enlargement of one arm
- Dimpling of the skin
- Dimpling of or changes to the nipple
- Discharge from the nipple
- Lowering of one breast or nipple
- Orange peel appearance to the skin of breast and or nipple
- Retraction of one or both nipples
- Dry skin (eczema) of the nipple
Have regular check ups with your GP or Gynaecologist, the younger you start the better.
Or check the schedule for the CANSA mobile health screening clinics or visit a the Pink Drive’s Mammogram truck during the month of October
What can YOU do to show your support this month.
Host a Cuppa for Cancer
Attend a Cuppa for Cancer
Support the Pink Drive by either making a Donation or purchasing goodies in their online shop
Become a Volunteer
Swipe your MySchool card
If you’re based in Soweto or Pretoria register for the Pick n Pay walk
Attend the Pink Drive’s BraTini “A Mixer for Life” ticket prices are R350 per person and the event will be held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban during the month of October