Zoe Winters explains how to check for breast cancer
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Born Judith Tuvim into a Russian Jewish family on June 21, 1921 in New York, US, her interest in theatre began during adolescence. Appearing in several school plays, her trajectory into acting seemed like a natural inclination. Working her way up from an uncredited extra in the film Too Much Johnson (1938), Judy became a leading lady.
Her best known productions include It Should Happen To You (1954) and Bells Are Ringing (1960).
Yet, five years later, Judy died on June 7, 1965, from metastatic breast cancer.
Breast cancer is “the most common cancer in the UK”, the charity Breast Cancer UK notes.
Macmillan Cancer Support lists the warning signs of breast cancer, such as:
- A lump in the breast
- Thickening of the skin or tissue of the breast, or dimpling of the skin of the breast
- A lump or swelling in either armpit
- A change in the shape or size of the breast, such as swelling in all or part of the breast
- A nipple turning in (inverted nipple)
- A rash (like eczema) on the nipple
- Discharge or bleeding from the nipple
- Pain or discomfort in the breast that does not go away.
Women in the UK who are registered to their GP will be invited for a free NHS breast screening every there years between the ages of 50 and 71.
Females who have not been invited for breast screening by the age of 53 should contact their local breast screening service.
Even if you are below or above the age range for breast screening, any signs of breast cancer should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible.
People would benefit by becoming breast aware, which means you are able to spot any unusual changes more quickly.
“Get used to how your breasts feel at different times of the month,” the NHS recommends.
“Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone,” the national health body instructs.
“You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit.
“You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.”
Look out for changes in the size of the breast, outline, or shape, if there is any puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness, or a new lump.
The NHS assures: “Breast changes can happen for many reasons, and most of them are not serious.
“However, if you find changes in your breast that are not normal for you, it’s best to see a GP as soon as possible.”
Catching breast cancer in the earliest of stages means there’s a better chance the tumour will not spread elsewhere in the body.
As for Judy, who had metastatic breast cancer, the tumour had spread around the body.
This type of cancer is not curable, but treatment nowadays aims to achieve remission, where the tumour shrinks or disappears.
The point of treatment is for a person to “feel normal” and to “enjoy life to the full”.
Judy Holliday starred in It Should Happen To You, which is showcasing on Fim4+1 on Thursday, January 19 at 4pm.
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