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News | April 2023

Performing a self-check breast exam

Breast awareness month. Breast Cancer Care WA breast check

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform a self-check breast exam at least once per month. A self-check breast exam can be performed in the shower, in front of a mirror or lying down.

Most breast changes are not due to breast cancer, however if any of these symptoms are experienced, it is important that they are discussed with your doctor.

Signs and symptoms to be aware of

  • A change in shape or size
  • Redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
  • Discharge (liquid) from one or both of your nipples
  • A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
  • A change in texture (puckering or dimpling)
  • Constant pain in your breast or your armpit
  • A lump or thickening that is different from the rest of the breast tissue
  • If your nipple becomes inverted or changes its position or shape
  • Always check any other changes in your breasts with your doctor

Click here to view the Self-check Breast Exam which includes simple diagrams.

Or visit Know Your Lemons to learn more on how to preform self-breast checks.

Self-examination is not a substitute for regular mammogram screenings. Women over 40 can have a free mammogram every 2 years with the BreastScreen Australia Program. To book an appointment, call BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50 or visit the BreastScreen Australia website.

When is the last time you checked your breasts for signs of cancer?

Breast Cancer Care WA self-check graphic

Perhaps you’ve never done it? Perhaps you’re a man or a woman under 40 and don’t consider yourself at risk?

According to National Breast Cancer Foundation figures

  • about 57 Australians are diagnosed with breast cancer every day
  • 1 in 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, with about three of those people being young women (under 40)
  • Breast cancer can also impact men, with about one in 555 Australian men diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

That’s why Steel Blue’s What a Pair campaign is raising awareness on how to perform self-checks to lead to early detection of breast cancer.

Raising awareness

Throughout May, we will donate an extra $5 to our breast cancer charity partners, Breast Cancer Care WA and Sweet Louise in New Zealand, via our dedicated What a Pair social media post to help educate women on how to perform regular self-checks to lead to early detection. We’ll donate to the respective charity every time a person has been tagged in the comments, each tag equals one $5 donation.

Steel Blue is a proudly Aussie-owned work boot manufacturer and we’ve had a long relationship with breast cancer charities. We’ve raised more than $1.8 million for breast cancer support over the past decade through the sale of our pink and purple boots. $10 from the sale of every pair of the fundraising boot range goes to breast cancer charities in Australia and New Zealand.

Steel Blue co-founder Ross Fitzgerald said the company hopes to raise $10,000 for breast cancer charities through the What A Pair campaign.

“We all hold the early detection of breast cancer in the palm of our hands,” Ross said. “Regular self-checks are the simplest way to find lumps or abnormalities that might be of concern—and everyone should be doing them, women and men, young and old.”

"Regular self-checks are the simplest way to find lumps or abnormalities that might be of concern—and everyone should be doing them"
Shower tag - performing a self-check breast exam

Early detection is incredibly important

“We also know early detection of breast cancer is incredibly important. That’s why Steel Blue includes a shower tag, that explains how to conduct a breast self-check, in every box of our pink and purple work boots.”

Steel Blue produces a range of work boots especially for women in trades.

Breast Cancer Care WA chief executive Max Clarke said the charity provides support to over 1,400 individuals and their families a year and every $1 donated provides $4.43 worth of social value to Australians.

Steel Blue is on track to provide $1.5 million in charitable donations to good causes between 2020 and 2025.

Ross encourages Australians to not only tag a friend in Steel Blue’s social media advertisements to help raise an additional $5 for Breast Cancer Care WA, but to share Steel Blue’s breast self-check illustration with their friends and family, too. See our Facebook account to stay up to date.

In addition to current donations, Steel Blue will donate a total of $10,000 throughout May to Breast Cancer Care WA and Sweet Louise via our What a Pair social post initiative.


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