Checking your boobs can be scary - but ignorance isn't always bliss

A Generic Photo of hand painted with the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbon. See PA Feature BEAUTY

Ellie Pringle on checking your breasts - Credit: Press Association Images

There’s a natural part in all of us which fears the unknown, especially when the unknown could be devastating.

And these days I suspect many of us go through life with a bit of a dark cloud hanging over our heads.  

For women it’s the stomach-dropping fear which comes with checking their breasts, and I’d guess it’s the same for men when it comes to checking their testicles.  

I’m more aware of how critical early detection of cancer – breast cancer in particular – is because my mum’s had it a number of times.  

The first time she was young and she had a pretty aggressive form back then and has since.  

You’d think that would make me more inclined to stay on top of looking after my own boobs.  

In reality, I’ll admit, I’ve buried my head in the sand for fear of what I might find.  

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It goes against reason and logic, but if you’ve grown up terrified of the ‘C’ word then it takes some courage to go in search of it.  

And I know I won’t be the only one.  

But last week the Evening News told Alice Whittaker’s story, a young mum who’s been told she has incurable cancer.  

She’s only 30 – she’s just started her family and now she’s faced with this.  

Her message was simple: “No one’s too young”, and I realised I fell into the naïve category who believes that they are. 

Chatting to other women in the office they said they didn’t know how to check their boobs or, like me, are too scared.  

To try and help with the first the Evening News printed a chart of what to look out for. 

How to self-examine your breasts

How to self-examine your breasts - Credit: Breast Cancer Now

But we can’t really do anything to support the second except continuing to encourage people to be vigilant with their health checks.  

Because we’re all in the same scary boat.  

So I’m changing my behaviour and I hope other people will also be a bit brave and join me.