Learn how to do a self-exam and where you can get a professional check for free.

Did you know that breast cancer has a 100 per cent five-year survival rate at stage one?

That means that if you catch it early, you’re going to be fine. To do that, though, you need to be checking your breasts and getting mammograms over the age of 40. Since it’s literally a matter of life and death, we think it’s worth getting your head around.

October is breast cancer awareness month so there’s no better time. Rather than buying something that just happens to be pink and donates approximately one dirham to the cause, why not make sure you’re in top health yourself? Take a friend of family member as well.

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How to check your own breasts

With the important caveat that a self-exam isn’t a replacement for a doctor’s appointment, getting to know the look and feel of your own breasts will help you spot changes should they happen. Dr Aisha Bhaiyat says that regardless of age, all women should be checking their breasts every month. If you still get your period, the few days after it finishes is the ideal time.

You’re looking for changes in size, shape, lumps, or skin texture, and any redness. Dr Bhaiyat emphasises the need to check your entire breast – up to your collarbone and into your armpit. Nipples should be examined too, for changes in appearance or the presence of a discharge.

aisha bhaiyat

Dr Aisha Bhaiyat of Snowdonia Medical Centre.

If you find a lump or have pain in your breast or armpit, call your doctor right away.

The above is a good habit, but you still need to be checked by a professional. Here’s where you can do that for free this month. We’ll update this as we hear of more clinics.

Snowdownia Medical Centre

This clinic in Umm Suquiem 2 is offering free breast checks throughout the month of October. For appointments, call (04) 338 3100 or email info@snowdoniamedicalcentre.com. They’re open 8am-9pm from Saturday to Thursday.

Snowdonia Medical Centre, Villa No.18, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqueim 2, Dubai. snowdowniamedicalcentre.com

Zulekha Hospital 

Now in its six year, this healthcare organisation’s Pink It Now campaign means you can get a free screening and consultation between now and December. It’s open to visitors as well as residents, and there are Zulekha hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah. Call 600 52 4442 for an appointment or email info@zulekhahospitals.com.

Zulekha Hospital, Doha Street, Al Nadha 2, Al Qusais, Dubai. 

Emirates Hospital

If you’re over 40, you can book in for a free mammogram in October with Emirates Hospital. They have branches in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah as well as in Abu Dhabi. Check their website for the location closest to you.

Emirates Hospital, Jumeirah Beach Road (opposite Jumeirah Park), Dubai. Tel (04) 349 6666. 

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Images: Getty, supplied