Sexual Health : How to Check Your Melons
on 7 Oct 2022
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and here at Lovehoney we like to take good care of our melons and be breast aware. Here are some quick and easy ways for you to check your coconuts, tits, boobs, baps (or whatever you call them) too.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. It mainly affects women and vulva owners (around 1 in 8!) over the age of 50, but can affect everyone regardless of age and gender.
By keeping an eye on your breasts regularly, you’ll become more familiar with how they look and feel, and will be able to tell your GP if you notice anything out of the ordinary. It’s a super important habit to have because it can help detect breast cancer early and the earlier breast cancer is detected, the higher the chance of recovery is.
When Should I Check My Breasts?
Ideally, you should check your breasts once a month.
If you are menstruating, the best time to check your breasts is at the end of your period, i.e. the end of the first part of your menstrual cycle.
After menopause, it doesn’t matter when you do it as long as it’s on the same day every month.
How Do I Check My Breasts?
Here’s the low-down on how to check your melons:
The first part of your self-examination is a visual check. You’ll need to place yourself in front of a mirror for this part and free the nip (i.e. take your top and bra off).
Raise your arms and look for a change in appearance or anything which looks unusual in your breast and your armpits. You may not necessarily be very familiar with the way your tatas look to begin with, but the more time you spend looking, the more you’ll get to know them. The changes to look for include puckering, dimpling, building, redness of the skin, any veins standing out more than normal or swelling in the armpit and/or around the collarbone. You’ll also want to pay attention to any difference in size between each breast.
Then, place your hands on your hips, hunch and lean forward. Use your eyes just like before, and this time look for any changes in the nipple such as nipple inversion, crusting, redness, swelling, bleeding, discharge and change in direction or shape.
For the second part, you will need your trusty fingers. It may help to do this part in the shower or when lying down.
Begin by examining one breast with the opposite hand. Using three fingers (don’t forget to warm up your hands beforehand!), start on the outer edge of your breast and move slowly towards the centre in a circle motion. Check for lumps (moving or fixed), any thickening of the skin or bumpy areas. Keep going until you reach the nipple.
Next up, the armpit. Still using three fingers and the opposite hand, draw circles and look for lumps or thickening here as well.
Finally, draw some attention to your nipple. Use two fingers to gently press your nipple and make sure that no discharge is coming out of it.
Repeat the second part on your other breast and voilà, you’re done! Give yourself a pat on the shoulder and thank yourself for taking the time to look after your gorgeous self.
What Should I Do If I Find Something Out of the Ordinary?
According to the NHS, the first symptom people tend to notice is a lump or thickening in tissue.
If you suspect something isn’t right, don’t panic! Most breast lumps aren’t actually cancerous. However, this doesn’t mean they should be overlooked – your doctor is the only person who will be able to tell you whether the lump you’ve found is benign or not. That’s why it’s so important to go see a health professional if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
That’s the main thing to take away today: if you have any doubt at all, pay your GP a visit.
For more information on breast cancer, please visit Breast Cancer UK.