Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Don't Wait, Self Check Your Breast


In the United States, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifespan.  In 2018 alone, there are over 2 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed worldwide.

Breast cancer is common amongst females 40 and over but although rare for females younger than 40, it is still not out of the realm of possibility to be diagnosed with breast cancer.  No matter your age, it is important to do self checks once and month and to visit your doctor if you notice any changes.

Below are steps from the National Breast Cancer Foundation and how to properly check yourself.  Do not skip doing these checks because it may save your life if you are able to detect this early.


HOW SHOULD A SELF BREAST EXAM BE PERFORMED

1) In the Shower 


Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

2) In Front of a Mirror 


Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women's breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) Lying Down


When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

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