Why looking at a photo of lemons could help you spot breast cancer

A breast cancer charity has come up with a simple but eye-opening way of visualising what breast cancer can look and feel like, with the aim of helping to save someone’s life.

The Know Your Lemons campaign – which features a picture of 12 lemons, each displaying a different, lesser-known symptom of breast cancer – was designed by Corrine Beaumont, who lost both her grandmothers to the disease, for Worldwide Breast Cancer.

Thank you @good and everyone else for sharing the #knowyourlemons image and success! https://t.co/6nAUVGixVq Keep sharing!! pic.twitter.com/FKZFbwF2hj

— Know Your Lemons (@knowyourlemons) January 13, 2017

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The charity’s website explains that while lumps are the most common sign of breast cancer, “some symptoms can be seen rather than felt.”

The 12 lemons show signs such as redness or heat, changes in shape or size and things which are perhaps hard to recognise as a possible symptom, like a growing vein. And the picture is going viral, as people share it with the hashtag #knowyourlemons.

One simple infographic showing what #breastcancer can look and feel like. Spread the message. #knowyourlemons pic.twitter.com/pXIr5gLGZL

— Lisa Katsiaris (@louloufrascatti) January 14, 2017

The campaign has been used to educate people all over the world – it’s been translated into 16 different languages.

The Worldwide Breast Cancer website also explains the importance of regular checks: “A mammogram can detect a lump long before it can be felt. Know yourself and let your mammogram do the rest.”

And the charity gives advice on how to do a self-exam, describing it as a “casual way to know what is normal for you”.

“Best time to check is a few days after your period ends when things are most normal,” the website states. “A cancerous lump feels different from a normal lump: it’s often hard and immovable and can be any shape or size (like a lump or a thick mass).”

#Knowyourlemons has gone viral. Together we're literally changing the picture of breast cancer. Keep it going! #breastcancer #knowyourself pic.twitter.com/wnPOkAiRC0

— The Mayor (@mayorgirl) January 13, 2017

As the graphic says, don’t panic if you notice changes, because some can be normal – but if any changes to your breasts stick around, it’s important to show a doctor.

People on Twitter definitely seem to agree that Know Your Lemons is a clever way of visualising what breast cancer can feel and look like.

People are talking about this clever graphic today, which shows 12 different ways breast cancer can appear. Know the signs #KnowYourLemons

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