Breast cancer symptoms and how to check yourself as Sarah Cawood announces diagnosis

TV presenter Sarah Cawood has revealed that she has been diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and will be on medication for the next decade.

The mum-of-two, 50, opened up to The Sun about her diagnosis and the moment she was told she had the disease. She said: “It was my first ever routine mammogram and I got a letter back ­saying they couldn’t give me my screening result back yet.

“So I had another mammogram and an ultrasound and then they said, ‘We’re going to biopsy you’. That’s where they take a bit of tissue from your boob.”

Detailing her family's reaction and what's next, Sarah said: "Nobody cried, it wasn’t very dramatic. It’s just a lumpectomy, radio-therapy, then a drug called Tamoxifen, which is a hormone blocker, for five to ten years.”

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, according to theNHS. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.

Grease star Olivia Newton-John, who passed away earlier this year, was in her early 40s when she was first diagnosed in 1992.

Following Olivia's death, former EastEnders actress Samantha Womack, 49, revealed that she has also been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The NHS explains that there are many symptoms of breast cancer, but the “first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue”.

The other symptoms include: a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts, discharge from either of your nipples which may be streaked with blood, a lump or swelling in either of your armpits, dimpling on the skin of your breasts, a rash on or around your nipple and a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully known by experts, but there are certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer.

These include age, family history of breast cancer, previous diagnosis of breast cancer, previous non-cancerous (benign) breast lump, being tall, overweight or obese and drinking alcohol.

Checking your breasts yourself is recommended by experts, though it “isn't always a reliable way to detect breast cancer”.

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MayoClinicsuggests beginning the self examination by standing shirtless and braless in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides.

They say while facing forward look for puckering, dimpling, or changes in size, shape or symmetry and check to see if your nipples are turned in (inverted).

Next its recommended you inspect your breasts with your hands pressed down on your hips.

Inspect your breasts with your arms raised overhead and the palms of your hands pressed together and then lift your breasts to see if ridges along the bottom are symmetrical.

They add: “Use a methodical technique to ensure you examine your entire breast. For instance, imagine the face of a clock over your breast or the slices of a pie.

“Begin near your collarbone and examine that section, moving your fingers toward your nipple. Then move your fingers to the next section.”

The publication adds that the look and feel of your breasts will change as you age.


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