Breast Cancer starts when the cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. There are several different types of breast cancer which are often divided into non-invasive and invasive. Non-invasive breast cancer can be found in the ducts of the breasts, and is called as such as it not developed the ability to spread outside the breasts, whereas invasive cancer has the ability to spread. The importance of checking your own breasts is vital to ensure you spot any signs early on. If breast cancer is detected in the early stages there is a higher chance of recovery.

Here are the five steps to check your own breasts

  1. Look at your breasts in the mirror. You should look for breasts that are the usual size, shape and colour. If you see any following changes below, bring this to your doctor’s attention.
    • Lumps, dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin.
    • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple.
    • Redness, soreness, rash or swelling.
  2. Raise your arms and look for the same changes.
  3. Look for any signs of fluid coming out of one of both nipples. This could be watery, milky, a yellow fluid or blood.
  4. Feel your breasts while lying down. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts.
  5. Feel your breasts while you’re standing and sitting to cover every angle.

If you are still uncertain or worried about any breast cancer symptoms, see your GP and ask for a screening.  During a screening your breasts will be x-rayed one at a time, pressed against a plate. The process is painless, so don’t be scared!

Editor’s Notes: Not Another Bunch of Flowers

Not Another Bunch of Flowers is an online web shop set up by Anikka Burton to help friends and family of poorly people make thoughtful gift choices for their loved ones.
Anikka was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 aged 33, and has had the full works of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and 5 operations to date. When first diagnosed, Anikka’s friends, family and colleagues sent so many bunches of flowers that she ran out of vases, jugs, pint glasses… until she was putting them in saucepans and anything else that would hold water! Not Another Bunch of Flowers was founded on the principle that whilst flowers are bright and beautiful amongst the gloom of illness, there are only so many a girl needs!
Buying an alternative present can be a difficult choice: some usual food and drink gift options may be off the cards; some ingredients in toiletries must also be avoided by some, such as parabens, sulphates and even some natural ingredients. Not Another Bunch of Flowers helps shoppers pick out the right practical (never boring!) gifts for those going through chemo, such as eye masks, button front pyjamas, beanies, and all sorts of bits and bobs you would never have thought of if you hadn’t been through it yourself.
Not Another Bunch of Flowers is generally known for supplying gifts for cancer patients – due to Anikka’s personal story and the resulting PR. However, Not Another Bunch of Flowers also sells general get well gifts, hospital gifts and gifts for mums-to-be and new mums.
The website offers a wide range of gifts such as jewellery, nightwear, quilts, puzzles, beauty products and sweets. You can also buy cards for every occasion: get well cards, empathy cards, cards for mums-to-be or birthday cards. And on top of that the website features a blog where you can find supportive and useful tips for specific situations.