According to, one in 29 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

The good news, however, is that if it’s detected early, there is an excellent chance of recovery.

This October, being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we urge you to get into the habit of checking your breasts regularly, a week after your period, for any changes, lumps, pain, swelling, sores, discharge or any other unusual symptoms.

How to perform a self-check:

•    In front of a mirror, check for any changes in the normal look and feel of your breasts, such as dimpling, size difference or nipple discharge. Inspect four ways: arms at sides, arms overhead, firmly pressing arms on hips and bending forward.

•    While showering raise your right arm and check your right breast with a soapy left hand and fingers flat using the method below. Repeat on the other side.

•    Lying down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder and your right hand under your head, use your left hand to check your right breast using the method below.

•    Repeat on the other side.

How to check your breasts:

•    With the three middle fingers of your left hand make small circular motions, following an up and down pattern over the entire breast area, under the arms and up to the shoulder bone, pressing firmly.

•    Repeat using your right hand on your left breast.