Breast Self-Examination: Key To Good Breast Health
October is National Breast Health Awareness month. With all the media attention, most women are aware that regular mammograms and monthly breast self exams are our greatest defense against this highly curable disease. The earlier a cancer is found, the greater the likelihood it can be cured.
Though we know the facts, in all honesty, how many women get a yearly mammogram after the age of 40–and how many women perform monthly breast self exams? These numbers are astonishingly low.
Though it is advised by physicians and the American Cancer Society to perform monthly breast self exams, many women do not pay attention or know how to do them correctly. Most lumps are found by women themselves.
According to J. H., M.D., OB/Gyn. of St. Luke Physicians for Women, “No one knows your breast better than you do. As women, we need to overcome our fears of looking at and touching our breasts.”
“Women should examine their breasts monthly, preferably right after their period when their breasts are less tender. It is also important to remember that there is breast tissue up under the arm and one should feel there as well as down the rib cage.”
When beginning a breast self exam, stand in front of a mirror and simply inspect your breasts. Or do the exam in the shower or when you go to bed at night.
Things to look for include:
- any dimpling or puckering of the skin
- any discharge noted from the nipple when squeezed from both directions.
- any change in the appearance of the breasts.
To examine the left breast, place your left arm over your head and explore the left breast with the flat pads of your fingers of your right hand. Feel for a lump, hard knot, thickening or discharge from nipple. Move around the breast in a set way. You can choose either the circle (A), the up and down line (B), or the wedge (C).
Do it the same way every time. It will help you to make sure that you’ve gone over the entire breast area.
Repeat the same procedure on your opposite breast.
Breast self examination, along with a yearly mammogram and a yearly checkup by your physician are the best ways of prevention against breast cancer.
Healthy Living Article List
|For Women||For Seniors||Fighting Cancer||Your Heart||Emergency 101|
|Work Smart||Bones, Muscles and Joints||Nutrition News||Advice From Our Docs|