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80% of young women diagnosed with breast cancer find their abnormality themselves
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A #TitCheck is not your mother’s breast exam

In fact, a #TitCheck is not an exam at all — it’s a form of breast self-awareness. Breast self-awareness is about knowing what’s normal for your own breasts, so you can notice any changes right away. Unlike monthly breast exams, you don’t have to follow a schedule or memorize a set of instructions, and you can start doing it yourself today!












Take breast health into your own hands

A #TitCheck means checking out your breasts while getting dressed—the same way you’d check out how your outfit looks every morning.

It’s a quick and simple way for you to check for breast changes on a regular basis—anything that may look or feel different from your “normal.”

Many of the symptoms of early breast cancer can be seen on, or felt in, the breast. If they’re there, and you have the intel on what to look for, you’ll be able to talk to your doctor about them right away.

How to check

It’s time to get to know your breasts. Intimately.

Doctors recommend being familiar with three main aspects of your breasts:

Whether your breasts are teeny-tiny or jumbo-sized: Touch them and squeeze them. Raise them, lower them. Look over them, under them, around them. Note their color. What’s lumpy, bumpy, loose, smooth? Inspect the nipple. Do you notice anything different from the last time you checked them?

All you need for a #TitCheck are your hands, a mirror, and a well-lit room.

What to check for

It may take a few #TitChecks to figure out what “normal” is to you. As you get to know your breasts better, you are mainly looking for changes from the norm.

Slide across some signs and symptoms of breast cancer. If you notice changes or abnormalities, you should contact your doctor.


Changes in appearance or size of either breast (including thickening or fullness that feels different from the rest of the breast)


A hard lump or knot near your underarm


A change in the nipple (it could become suddenly pushed in, or inverted)


Dimples, puckers, bulges, or ridges on the skin of the breast


Nipple discharge or blood


Itching, scales, sores, or rashes. Different skin tones can present rashes differently.


“Redness” accompanied by warmth, swelling, or pain.

Why are #TitChecks important?

Today’s screening measures aren’t cutting it.

Experts at the American Cancer Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists no longer recommend the breast exams done at the OBGYN’s office or the self-exams done at home because they have not been proven to impact disease detection or outcomes.

There are currently no effective breast cancer screening tools for young adults, which means YOU are your best tit ally.

By the way, you don’t have to refer to your breasts as “tits” to do a #TitCheck. You can call them whatever you want—you just have to check them.

Not all #TitChecks will be the same

Just like breasts vary from person to person, so does the advice for those with some special considerations. If you fall into any of these groups, your #TitCheck may be impacted by the below information:

You’re experiencing hormone changes

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone naturally fluctuate throughout the life of people assigned female at birth, which can cause changes to the breast. There are also some medications, like birth-control pills, that may impact hormone levels and change the size, and feel, of your breasts. If you have concerns or questions about a medication’s impact on your breasts, please speak with your doctor.

You’re pregnant

Often when pregnant, breasts are larger, sore, and may even tingle or have a new sensation. The nipple can darken, as will the areola, which also may expand in size.

You’re breastfeeding

Because of milk production and the need for frequent feeds, your breasts may change sizes throughout the day. Nipples can become chafed, red, or itchy (particularly at the beginning of a breast-feeding journey). You may also notice something that feels like a lump, but could be a clogged milk duct, or you experience breast swelling and pain, which may be mastitis from breastfeeding.

If you experience any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to ask your doctor. If something still seems off or is unusual, request additional screening.

You’ve had breast augmentation

Make sure you get to know the “after” breasts as well as you knew the “before” ones. If you find it harder to check thoroughly with implants in, you can try different positions: lying down, standing up, or arms raised.

You are transgender or non-binary
  • Research has found that transgender women who receive hormone therapy have an increased risk of breast cancer when compared with cisgender men. Although the risk is considered to be below the breast cancer risk for cisgender women, it’s significant enough to warrant breast self-awareness and regular #TitChecks2

  • Transgender men who have not had both breasts removed, or those who have had reductions, should follow current guidelines for cisgender women (ie: breast self-awareness and regular #TitChecks)2

You’re having a flare up

Common conditions like eczema and psoriasis can cause a rash—sometimes triggered by certain foods, medication, chemicals, or stress. If you have one of these conditions and may be experiencing a flare, keep an eye on the problem area, and if it doesn’t clear up, call your doctor.

You have a family history of cancer

It’s important to know your family history because it is possible for cancer to be passed down through your family line, which is called hereditary cancer. A family history of cancer may lead your doctor to recommend that you start mammograms at an earlier age or genetic testing to determine your risk for breast cancer. With the right information, you and your doctor can create a breast cancer screening plan that is best for you. Learn more here.

You’ve had cancer before

If you’ve experienced a breast cancer diagnosis, you already know the importance of spotting changes in your breasts. Whether you’ve got foobs, flatties, or a uni, chances of recurrence are low, but you should still be familiar with your current look and feel. A #TitCheck ensures you intimately know your ‘new normal’ and report any changes to your healthcare team immediately.

  • Think about your breasts every time you get dressed

  • Identify any changes

  • Talk about any changes with your doctor

  • Think about your breasts every time you get dressed

  • Identify any changes

  • Talk about any changes with your doctor

Speaking with
your doctor

Tips for a successful doctor-patient interaction

REMEMBER: YOU are the most important part of your healthcare team. (Read that again and let that soak in.) You should feel comfortable asking questions and asking for more information if you don’t understand something.


wait to see the doctor

See your doctor and inform them of any changes in your breasts. You may find it helpful to bring along any photos you took for reference.


feel embarrassed or ashamed

If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, consider finding a new one or bringing a supportive friend who can advocate for you.


let someone tell you “You are too young for breast cancer”

There is no age limit for breast cancer. If necessary, get a second opinion from another doctor. You can also request further screening, if you do not feel you are getting the answers you need.


keep your appointments

If your doctor thinks you need to have follow-up tests, such as a mammogram, MRI, or ultrasound, write down the scheduled date, time, address and phone number. It can be helpful to have a family member or friend go with you for support.


know your rights as a patient

As a patient, you have the right to be treated with respect. If you aren't being treated well, ask to speak to a manager, social worker, or patient navigator and consider seeing a new doctor.


ask for a translation

If there is an issue with understanding the language at your doctor’s office, request that someone who speaks your native language be provided to help you.

If you do not have a doctor or health insurance, check with your local social services agency or the Department of Health and Human Services to find out what options are available.

Download the doctor discussion guide

Breast cancer can impact us all

Hearing about breast cancer from those who have been through it is a great way to learn how to advocate for yourself. Help spread the word by sharing these tips to your social circles.

You can impact breast health and education today

With your help, we can better identify gaps in today’s understanding of breast self-awareness and breast cancer risk reduction.

Whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have no history of it, your experience and input will help us to identify opportunities for future education and potential additional research.


If you know someone with breast cancer

Founded by three young survivors in 1998, Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the go-to organization for young adults affected by breast cancer and their co-survivors.

With local networks across the United States, YSC provides free resources, connections and educational materials to support and empower young adults affected by breast cancer and ensure no one faces the disease alone.


1. Ruddy, K. et al. “Presentation of breast cancer in young women,” Journal of Clinical Oncology 27:15S (2009).

All original artwork created by Marga Castaño and Apéritif

Website developed by efelle creative

In just minutes, you can impact the health and education of the next generation of young adults who may be at risk for breast cancer.