Breast cancer awareness month is here ladies. October is a time to remember those we’ve lost due to breast cancer and honor breast cancer survivors. Breast cancer is a disease that has claimed many lives of women and men across the world. There are ways to prevent this horrific disease and early detection is key. You should never ignore any lumps or changes in your breast and contact a doctor should anything feel painful or abnormal. Here is how to conduct a self breast examination.
1. Remove clothing
The first step is to remove any clothing and your bra. You can be in front of a mirror, in the shower or even laying down. If you are in the shower you want to feel around your breast for any lumps or knots and you want to move around the entire circumference of your breast. If you are in front of the mirror you want to face the mirror with your arms outstretched. If laying down, firmly press your fingers around the circumference of the breast. Look for discoloration, swelling, or lumps in the breast and nipple area.
2. Stretch your arms in the air
Repeat step one, only with your arms in the air. Again, look for any discoloration, lumps, bumps, and knots in the breast area, extending to the underarm.
3. Individually examine
Next you want to individually examine each breast. Lift your right arm over your head and use your left hand to examine your left breast. Once this examination is complete switch to the other breast. Remember sometimes both breast are not exactly the same size so do not stress if this is true for you. Unless one breast is extremely larger than the other this is nothing to be alarmed about.
Here are some things you should be looking for:
Simple right? Self breast examinations are extremely simple and helpful at detecting cancerous tumors. If you notice anything unusual do contact your doctor to schedule a mammogram. Mammograms are able to detect tumors even before they can be felt. Unless stated otherwise by your doctor mammograms should be performed at your health facility annually, and you should be doing self exams at least once a month.
Have you done your self exam this month?