Breast/testicular cancer

Checking your Breasts

3500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. All women aged 18 and above should check their breasts regularly (ideally one week after your period each month) for changes. Look at your breasts in the mirror, checking for one becoming larger or lower, an inverted nipple, or any dimpling of the skin. Lift up you arms and look at your profile: check that both nipples move up the same distance. While lying down, or in the bath or shower, feel all over your breasts and into the armpits for any lumps or swellings. Do this with the flat of your whole hand. Be aware of other signs; such as constant pain in one area, a rash or any discharge from your nipples. Note any changes in size or shape of your breasts, especially on movement. 9 out of 10 lumps are not breast cancer, but if you have any worries see a doctor.

Checking your Testicles

Testicular Cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst young men between the ages of 20 and 35, although it can develop in boys as young as 15. The incidence of testicular cancer has doubled over the last 20 years. Currently about 1 in 500 men develop testicular cancer between 15 and 50. Many types of testicular cancer can be cured in around 96% of cases if caught at an early stage. In the bath or shower (when the sack is relaxed) hold your balls in the palm of your hand. Note the size and weight of your balls. Many blokes have one slightly larger or lower than the other but it is important to get any changes checked out. Feel each ball gently. Don't confuse the soft tube that carries sperm with an abnormal lump. Each ball itself should be fairly smooth with no lumps. It is unusual to have cancer in both balls at once so if you're not sure if one of them feels abnormal then compare it to the other one. If you are at all worried then go and see a doctor. Don't be embarrassed about it, it's not your fault and the doctor will have seen it all before!