It’s October ladies and that means Breast Cancer Awareness month! Have you given your girls a good check-through? Most of us have spent more of our life with our breasts than without, and yet we’re still only just getting acquainted.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in right women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s high time we became BFFs with our girls. Let’s get up close and personal with some of these common frequently asked questions:
Q. Why do my boobs hurt?
A. There are many reasons, including tenderness due to your period, medication, wearing the wrong size bra or sports bra (replace them every six months, please), diet-related reasons, or you could have pulled a muscle.
Q. Is it okay to wear a bra to bed?
A. It won’t cause breast cancer, flatten your chest or stop sagging; the only reason to wear (or not wear) a bra to bed is pure comfort.
Q. Why do my breasts fluctuate in size?
A. Your period is one of the main culprits. Other factors are weight loss or gain, pregnancy, breast development, breastfeeding, birth control pills and other medications, and exercise. Sex also causes breasts to swell.
Q. What exactly is my bra size?
A. Boobs can frequently fluctuate in size (see above), and there isn’t a regulator which checks that every size bra is the same. The solution? Always try before you buy.
Q. Does the contraceptive pill affect my boobs?
A. Birth control pills can change your breast size. It can also cause your boobs to be sore and swollen. The Cancer Council says that women who take the pill have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than women who don’t, especially if they have a family history of it. Yet, the pill reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, and the breast cancers found in women who have used it tend to be easier to treat.
Q. How come they’re so damn itchy?
A. It could be allergic reactions to fabrics or soaps, skin conditions or pregnancy. It can also just be a patch of dry skin. In very rare cases, it can be a symptom of breast cancer. If you’re concerned, do talk to your GP.
Q. I’m not pregnant or breast feeding, so why do my nipples sometimes randomly leak?
A. In most cases, nipple discharge is harmless. It can be coloured from whitish to yellow-green or brown. In rare cases, nipple discharge can be a symptom of breast cancer, particularly if it’s bloodstained. Always discuss any nipple discharge with your doctor so you can be sure.