Love your boobies!

October in the famous Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Here are some interesting figures and facts…..

Breast cancer are one of the commonest cancers in South African women with a 1 in 27 lifetime risk according to the national cancer registry – its quite a shocking figure!

We are all at risk but more so if there is a family history of breast cancer. Other risks include being overweight, inactivity, consuming alcohol, smoking, poor dietary habits, chemical exposure, and aging – although many women under 40 years of age are being diagnosed.

Some warning signs of breast cancer can include:

  • a lump in the breast and or armpit
  • nipple and skin change or a nipple discharge
  • nipple dimpling or retraction
  • puckering of the skin of the breast
  • enlarged armpit glands/swelling
  • increase in breast size of one breast
  • one breast being unusually lower than the other

It is important to do a monthly self-examination of your breasts. This is best performed 7-10 days following your menstrual cycle and preferably on the same day of each month. For ladies not having a menstrual cycle any date will do as long as it is on a regular/monthly basis.

Here follow some easy steps on how to do a self-examination:

  1. Stand in front of the mirror and look and feel for any changes in your breasts – do this with your arms at your sides, arms overhead, bend forward and hand on hips.
  2. Lie down on your back and place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right hand underneath your head – with your left hand’s 4 fingers make small circular motions in a clockwise direction up and down your breast, include your armpit. Repeat the same on the left side.
  3. You can repeat the above during bathing or showering with your arm raised above your head.
  4. Feel or any lumps, bumps or changes in previous examinations.

What about mammograms?

Mammograms are a specialised form of X-ray to detect breast irregularities and are indicated in women 40 years and older on an annual basis. Mammograms are usually covered by the medical aid as part of their screening/preventative benefits. It is always best to enquire with your medical aid to confirm this.

Please contact your GP at Elan HealthStyle if you detect any suspicious breast changes/lumps/bumps or have any concerns with regards to breast health – we would gladly assist with an appointment and conduct a thorough breast exam.

Remember, early detection saves lives!


– Dr Carike Camphor


Allison Blair

All stories by: Allison Blair