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Be aware of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness

According to Breast Cancer Now, over 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK and every 45 minutes a woman dies from the disease.<

Knowing the symptoms

Understanding the symptoms of breast cancer is important for every woman as the sooner the cancer is diagnosed, the better chance of survival and successful treatment. This is why it is important to know what to look for when checking your breasts.

It’s important to know your own breasts so that when you do check them, you’ll know if something is unusual or out of place. You should check the whole area of your breast which includes your armpit and the upper chest.

Things to look for:

  • Lumps or swelling
  • Shape changes or size changes
  • Change in colour
  • Inverted nipples
  • Change of texture
  • Discharge
  • Rash
  • Anything unusual

Causes of breast cancer

Some women may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others and this can depend on a range of different things from lifestyle choices to our genes. Two of the main factors which can increase your chance of developing breast cancer is being female and your age. We know that we can’t pause time and stop ourselves from ageing and that is why it is important to look out for any of the above symptoms.  If you are between the ages of 50 – 70 then you are eligible for breast screening on the NHS, so it’s important to attend your appointment every three years.

Other causes:

  • Early puberty
  • Genetics
  • High breast density
  • Late Menopause
  • Ethnicity

breast cancer

Decreasing your chances

There are different ways you can decrease your risk of breast cancer and these can include:

Physical activity

Being physically active for around 20 minutes a day can decrease your chances of developing breast cancer, this is because it helps you maintain a healthy weight and although not yet fully understood, it can cause a change in the levels of hormones in your body.

Maintaining a healthy weight

As previously mentioned maintaining a healthy weight can decrease your risk. If you are overweight or obese after you reach the menopause, when you stop having periods, then you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Eating a healthy balanced diet can help you keep to a healthy weight, as well as eating less fatty processed foods.


If you drink alcohol regularly then you could be increasing your risk of developing breast cancer. You should take a look at how much alcohol you drink on a daily basis. It can be difficult to stop drinking completely but you can try different things to cut down. Swap strong beers and wines for a lower level of alcohol, have an alcohol free day at least twice a week or use a diary to track your consumption.

If you do find anything unusual about your breasts then you should book an appointment with your doctor or nurse as soon as you can. Having some symptoms doesn’t mean that you have breast cancer but if you are worried then it is best to get checked out to be of the safe side.

Private Health Insurance

When you take a Lifestyle, Lifestyle Plus or Elite Private Health Insurance policy out with us, you will receive full cancer cover. Take a look at our benefit table and get your free online quote today!

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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