Two in five women ‘don’t check their breasts regularly’ – poll

Women have been urged to regularly check their breasts for signs and symptoms of cancer after a new poll suggests many have never checked themselves.

A new poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the charity Breast Cancer Now, found that 10% of women have never checked their breasts.

And 44% said they do not check their breasts regularly, according to the survey of 1,100 British women.

Some 13% of those polled said that they check “once a year or less”.

Forgetting to check and a lack of confidence in checking their breasts were identified as some of the main barriers.

Breast Cancer Now said two thirds of breast cancers are found when women detect a new or unusual breast change and get this checked out by their GP.

Manveet Basra, associate director of public health, inclusion and awareness at Breast Cancer Now, said: “The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance of treatment being successful, and lives potentially being saved from breast cancer.

“This is why we want every woman to know how vital breast checking is and to feel empowered to regularly check their breasts, so that it’s easier to spot any new or unusual change and get them checked with a GP, along with attending breast screening appointments when invited.

“With the most notable barrier to women regularly breast checking being that they forget, we’re reminding women to get it back on their agenda – this could be as part of their self-care routine while getting dressed, showering or applying moisturiser.

“Checking your breasts only takes a few minutes and there’s no right way to check, as long as you do it regularly. It’s important to check your whole breast area, your armpits and up to your collarbone (upper chest) for changes.”

– Common signs of breast cancer include a lump or swelling; a change to the skin such as puckering or dimpling; a nipple change; change in the colour of the breast or changes in the size or shape of the breast.