How to check?

Check Your Neck

You should regularly check your neck for any lumps often. Your neck has things called lymph nodes. These are shaped like beans and are part of your immune system, containing white blood cells that help you fight off illnesses. Sometimes they can swell up if you are unwell, like when you have an infection, but they can also be a sign of cancer. 

If you find a lump that doesn’t go away, you should contact your doctor. 

With the tips of your fingers, check your neck by starting behind your ears, moving down your jaw and then down the sides of your neck all the way down to your collar-bone that is just below the bottom of your neck. Make sure you check both sides for comparison. 

Check Your Breasts and Chest

You should always check your chest, whether you have pecs or boobs, and regardless of your gender, every month. You shouldn’t just check for lumps, but other things like:

  • Changes to your nipples, like discharge or inversion (when they go inwards)
  • A rash or changes to the feel of your skin 
  • Dimples (bits of skin that go inwards, like dimples you can get in your cheeks) 

Use your fingertips to work around your breast (or pec). Imagine it as a pie chart, and check each section before moving onto the next one in a circle. Do both of your breasts individually and check for any comparison or differences. You can do this in the shower, or while looking in the mirror to see any visual differences you might not be able to feel. 

If you notice anything unusual, you should always contact your doctor. 

Check Your Balls

If you have balls, you need to make sure you check them every month. This should be when you are standing up and when they are warm, so the best place is usually in the shower or after a bath. Get familiar with them, and make sure you know what is normal for you. 

Roll each ball individually between your finger and thumb, they should be almost the same size and weight. To check the weight you can cup your hands under them to see how they feel. 

You should look out for:

  • A hard lump in one or both of your balls
  • Swelling in a ball, or one ball getting larger than it usually is 
  • A ball feeling more firm than it usually does 
  • Pain in one or both of your balls
  • Any other unusual differences between them both 

If you notice anything unusual, you should always contact your doctor. 

Check Your Moles

Lots of people have moles. You might have been born with them, some might appear over your lifetime, and disappear too. But it is really important to keep a look out for changes to existing moles, or how new moles that appear look to you. 

You can take a picture of your moles to make sure you are able to notice any changes. 

You should look out for:

  • Changes to its shape, it might look different one side to the other 
  • Change in size, like getting bigger or being raised up from your skin
  • Change in the colour, like getting darker or being two different colours 
  • If it starts to itch, crust, flake or bleed 

If you notice something that doesn’t go away, or is unexplained, speak to a doctor. 

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