For even in a world withand many ways to talk self-sufficiency begins with you. If you schedule only five minutes a month for a you can increase the likelihood of getting an early diagnosis if you have cancer. The earlier you discover cancer, the sooner a doctor can treat it. And when it comes to breast cancer, early treatment is the key to a good prognosis.
Carrying out breast cancer self-examination
1. Just look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with lowered and then raised arms from different angles.
What you should see:
- Breasts that are smooth and have no visible distortion
- The usual size, shape and color of your breasts
- Changes in skin texture, such as pitting, wrinkling or Bulging
- Changes in the position of one of the nipples
- Any redness, spots or other signs of rash
- Abnormal swelling
- Any signs of fluid originating from either of the nipples
2. Feel your breasts lying down and then standing still. Using the pads of your first two or three fingers, make a quarter-size circular motion along the entire surface of your breasts (top, sides, front, bottom) and near your armpits. Feel the different fabric layers with light, medium and firm pressure.
What you should feel:
- The usual consistency of your breasts
- Whatever is "normal" in the different regions of your breasts is breast tissue
- Thickening or fullness that feels different than the surrounding tissue
- ] Unusual heat
- A nipple that has turned around (pushed in instead of pointing)
Why should I do a breast cancer self-examination?
To be clear, breast cancer can not be diagnosed in a self-exam – only doctors can do through a variety of tests, including mammography, ultrasound, MRI or breast tissue biopsy.
However, conducting self-exam can help you become more familiar with your breasts, so you are more likely to notice subtle changes. You should familiarize yourself with the size, shape, symmetry (or asymmetry), color and texture of your breasts.
If you know how your breasts change in relation to yourand you may also avoid false warning signs.
How often should you check for breast cancer?
A monthly breast self-exam is the best way to familiarize yourself with the normal look and feel of your breasts. Most health organizations do not see any added value in looking more than once a month, though it does not hurt.
Breast self-assessment apps and tools
If you have trouble remembering the appearance of your breasts, make a "map" to keep track of the different colors and textures of your breast tissue. These apps and tools can help you with breast cancer self-assessment and keep you up to date.
Check yourself! : Provided by the Keep A Breast Foundation, this app will help you set up a regular routine for breast self-testing. You can set a date and get a monthly push reminder. The app guides you through your self-examination every time.
B4BC : In this app of Boarding for Breast Cancer, you learn how to perform a self-breast exam, set a schedule that is synchronized with your menstrual cycle, and provide resources such as educational content , healthy recipes and wellness tips.
Pink Luminous Breast Light : This handheld device from the Pink Luminous Advocacy Project aims to make self-examination of breast cancer easier and more effective. LED technology identifies lumps, dark spots, clusters and other signs that you may not be able to see with your eyes or feel with your fingers. This tool does not replace medical examinations but may increase the likelihood of early detection.
What to do if something goes wrong?
Do not panic. Changes in breast tissue, including nodules and pits, are often benign (non-cancerous). In fact, eight out of ten lumps are not cancerous. Changes can occur due to hormonal fluctuations, cysts, calcification or other benign breast disease. You should make an appointment with your doctor to conduct further examinations to exclude breast cancer or any other condition requiring treatment.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be considered as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.