A young designer, Corrine Ellsworth who lost both her grandmothers to breast cancer launched a campaign called ‘Know your lemons’ and started a website for charity called Worldwide breast cancer, to help women identify and seek medical advice immediately if they find something abnormal with their own breasts. If breast cancer can be detected early and treated immediately, the chances of survival increases by about 90%.
Every woman should perform a self-examination of her breasts on a regular basis to check for any deviation from the normal. The best time to perform a self-exam is within a few days after your period has ended; and if you are post-menopausal it can be done at any time.
Although breast cancer can present itself like a lump, many a times there maybe no lump felt. Instead there might be other signs like dimpling of the skin, inverted nipples, deviation or discharge from the nipples, redness of the skin over the breasts, visible veins, skin like an orange. Lumps which are cancerous are usually stony hard and immovable (about 80% of lumps are non-cancerous but it is best to get it examined by a doctor if you feel a lump).
The above image of a carton of lemons provides us a good visual idea of what the various signs of breast cancer could look like, (with the lemons being used as a metaphor for breasts). If you find any such abnormality in your breasts during self-examination, get medical advice without delay so that a mammogram or a biopsy can be performed by your doctor immediately to rule out a cancerous condition.