Breast cancer could be going unspotted by women due to the reluctance of one in three to examine their breasts because of a dread of what they could discover, a poll has found.
The study also revealed that 10% of women who do frequently examine themselves say they do so because they are worried about getting the condition, the poll suggests.
The Avon Breast Promise report, which polled 2,000 British women, found that over 50% would find it easiest to examine their breasts as part of their daily beauty regime.
Psychologist professor Janet Reibstein said that being nervous and fearful does not necessarily make women cautious.
She said: “Breast checking needs to start young. As a young woman, not only are you becoming conscious of your body, but it’s the point in your life when you set up many routines that will last a lifetime.”
An additional study by Breakthrough Breast Cancer has found that just 2% of women know the five symptoms of breast cancer.
The YouGov poll of 1,000 women also discovered that just 45% of women frequently examine their breasts, with almost 60% confessing to forgetfulness.
Dr Sarah Rawlings, head of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said the studies should serve as a warning.
She said: “We already know that early diagnosis saves lives and that’s why it’s vital that every woman knows what to look for.”
“One thousand women die every month from breast cancer. This is something that is just too important to forget.”