Olivia Newton John recently revealed that her breast cancer has returned, which is one of the worst pieces of news a doctor can give anyone. This is why it is important to regularly check yourself and also be screened regularly, as the sooner a cancer is detected, the sooner it can be treated, and the more likely it can be cured.
As with all medical treatments, the longer you leave it before taking action, the longer it will take to cure, and the longer it will take to heal. This then also has the knock on effect of the more it ultimately will cost, and with the NHS stretched to breaking point already, it is far better to be checked every 6 months and catch it early, than it is to have late stage cancer and it take 3 times as long to treat, or worse, is untreatable.
Men and women obviously have different bodies, however, we do share the potential to get quite a lot of the same cancers. Men, for example can get breast cancer, though rare, it can and does happen.
Men and women should read on for how to check your own (and your partners) body for warning signs.
In men, the first sign is a lump under the nipple, this is usually quite easy to feel for as men tend to have less mass on their chest than women.
In women, self examination is a little more complicated. Firstly, without a top on, and ideally after not wearing a bra for a few hours so they fall to their natural position. Relax your arms, and take a good look at them. Check for any changes, such as change in nipple direction, thickness, density or dimpling. Also check your nipples
Firmly put your hands on your hips and lean toward the mirror. Check for and changes, and do the same on both sides.
Check the area around each breast with your hand for any soreness and lumps. Firmly but not painfully squeeze each nipple and gently pull them out to check for discharge.
Hold the penis out of the way, take one testicle and hold it between your thumb and finger on both hands. Gently roll the testicle to feel for any lumps. Also note and change in shape, size and texture, and that everything feels normal.
You should ideally also get checked over by your doctor, as your doctor would rather you have regular checks with them, as oppose to allowing cancer to take hold.
Regularly getting yourself checked out, or MOT’d is imperative to good health, and most doctors will do the works on you all in the same appointment with the exception being Smears and Mammograms which have to be done in the hospital. They will also take in factors such as alcohol, smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate which can all play a role in cancers developing, to determine how your lifestyle is affecting your health.