Why an Annual Exam isn’t Enough

As nurses at Lady McAdden we’re often asked by women if we will examine them. After reviewing our services over the last two years our routine answer is no. This may surprise you, but we have good reasons for this decision!

Our focus now is breast awareness. We want you to be familiar with your body and know what is normal for you. Every one of us is unique and no two breasts are identical! If we can teach you how, when, and why to examine yourself, you stand a much better chance of noticing a change than if you were to be checked by one of us once a year. 42% of breast cancers are found by women themselves. That’s nearing half of all breast cancers and if every woman becomes confident in checking their breasts, then that percentage could increase significantly.

The TV presenter Julia Bradbury has recently shared her breast cancer journey. In 2020 she had a mammogram that detected nothing but microcysts. A year later, at a follow up mammogram she was told she had breast cancer. Changes can happen in the space of a year and knowing how to check your own body in between appointments could make all the difference.

If you check your breasts monthly, as we advise, you will know how they feel and look. You will notice if there’s a lump, an area of thickening or changes in appearance to the skin or nipple and will be able to have these changes checked quickly.

Of course, in some cases, when a woman has a concern, we are happy to examine her, but we will never diagnose. Most breast lumps and symptoms are benign but whenever there is a concern of any kind, visiting your GP without delay is imperative as you may need a referral to the breast clinic. If you would like a breast awareness session to learn how to check for changes just book an appointment. It’s easy to do online and we offer appointments in person, via video or phone call. We hope to see you soon.