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Women aged 18-25 are now being urged to check themselves as charity CoopaFeel! said young people often do not realise they are at risk, as it is much common in older people.

However NHS guidelines suggest that you should seek advice from a GP or medical professional if you notice any of the following:

  • A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
  • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • A discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • A change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
  • A rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
  • A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

Other risk factors in addition to age include family history. If you have close relatives who have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

The genes TP53 and CHEK2, are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, because breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, it’s possible for it to occur in more than one family member by chance.

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