In the video, which was created for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the tennis champion covers her breasts with her hands while singing to camera. The clip was created in honour of the Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett, who died from the disease in 2013.
Williams captioned the video: “This put me out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to do it because it’s an issue that affects all women of all colours, all around the world. Early detection is key – it saves so many lives. I just hope this helps to remind women of that.”
Women are not invited for regular NHS breast cancer screening until the age of 50 in England, because older women are the most frequently affected. For this reason, it is particularly important younger women (and their partners) are aware of potential breast cancer symptoms and complete self-checking.
A lump in the breast or armpit area is the symptom most commonly associated with breast cancer, but other signs can include change in the size, shape or feel of a breast, skin changes like puckering or redness, nipple discharge, changes to the position of the nipple, or pain in a breast.
Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director at Breast Cancer Care, previously told HuffPost UK there is no “correct” way to check your breasts for symptoms. Instead, it’s about knowing what’s “normal” for you and “touching and looking at your breasts in a way that’s comfortable and convenient for you”.
“That might be while you’re in the shower or getting dressed, or perhaps when you’re putting on body lotion. Be sure to check all parts of the breast, under the armpit and up to the collarbone,” she said. “Remember you’re looking for changes – everyone’s breasts are different, and that’s perfectly normal, but if anything changes then that’s the time to talk to your GP.”