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Subtle warning signs of breast cancer not to ignore – after Amy Dowden’s shock diagnosis

May 24, 2023

As Strictly star Amy Dowden shares her shock diagnosis of breast cancer aged 32; take a look at some of the warning signs of the disease that you shouldn’t ignore…..

After finding a lump in her breast while on holiday with her husband, Strictly star Amy Dowden was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32.

And while it is crucial to check your breasts and armpits regularly for any lumps, there are a number of other early symptoms that could be warning signs of the disease.

When it comes to breast cancer, for instance, it’s not just a lump you should keep an eye out for. You could also get a rash around your nipple or notice a change in the size or shape of your breast.

According to the NHS, one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime and if it’s detected early, there’s a good chance of recovery.

And it’s not just women that should be concerned as well, as men can also be diagnosed with the disease in some rare cases.

Aside from lumps, other signs and symptoms you should never ignore according to the experts include:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should speak to your GP.

How can I check for breast cancer?

Experts at have previously shared five steps for checking your breasts that you can do at any time.

Step 1 – Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Look out for dimpling, puckering, bulging skin, redness, soreness, a rash, or changes in the nipple.

Step 2 – Stay in front of the mirror and raise your arms. Look again for the same changes.

Step 3 – Next look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples, this includes watery, milky, yellow fluid, or blood.

Step 4 – Feel your breasts while lying down. Use your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast.

Using a few fingers, keeping them flat and together, go in a small circular motion around your breasts. Feel from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. Try following a pattern to make sure you cover the whole breast.

Use light pressure for the skin and tissue just beneath, medium pressure for the tissue in the middle of your breasts, and firm pressure to feel the tissue at the back, feeling down to your ribcage.

Step 5 – Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.


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