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Even if you have two-yearly breast screens, it is still important to be breast aware because breast cancer can develop at any time. This includes the time in-between screening appointments.

You don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique for breast awareness; simply take the time to get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts as part of everyday activities like showering, dressing, putting on body lotion or simply looking in the mirror.

Illustration shows a woman performing a breast self check. In the first one she is facing away with one arm over her head and her hand pressing down on her breast. The second is the same position from the front. The third shows her checking her breasts in a mirror.
An illustration of a woman checking her breasts in three different positions. First, she is pressing down on her breast with one hand and the other raised above her head, then she is feeling under her armpit.

Knowing what is normal will help you detect any new breast changes.

It is important to know the normal look and feel of your breasts.

Things you should look for include:

  • a new lump or lumpiness in your breasts, especially if it is in only in one breast
  • a change in the size and shape of your breast
  • a change to the nipple such as crusting, an ulcer, redness or the nipple pulled in
  • a discharge from your nipple that happens without squeezing the nipple
  • a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling or puckered skin
  • a pain that does not go away.

Screening mammography is not an appropriate test for the investigation of new or changing symptoms as more detailed tests are needed. These tests include diagnostic mammography, ultrasound and/or a biopsy to fully investigate the symptom. These tests are not provided at the time of screening with BreastScreen SA. Please do not make an appointment for a breast screen if you have a new or changing symptom, as we will not be able to screen you.