October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Here’s How To Perform a Breast Self-Exam
October is an important month in raising awareness for breast cancer. With thousands of lives affected by this disease every year, it’s crucial to spread knowledge about prevention and early detection. One highly recommended practice is performing regular breast self-examinations. These exams can help you identify any changes or abnormalities in your breasts, leading to early detection and potentially saving lives.
Why Perform a Breast Self-Exam?
Regular breast self-exams contribute to early detection by enabling you to become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. Any changes or abnormalities can be quickly noticed and reported to your healthcare provider. While self-exams are not a substitute for mammograms or clinical exams, they play a vital role in recognizing any potential issues that require further examination.
Performing a Breast Self-Exam: Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Visual Examination
Begin by standing in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. Look closely at your breasts for any changes in size, shape, or symmetry. Observe for any visible lumps, dimpling, or changes in the nipple.
Step 2: Palpation in Standing Position
Raise your arms and clasp your hands behind your head. Use the pads of your fingers to examine each breast individually. Apply light pressure, moving in circular motions from the outer edges towards the center, and then from top to bottom. Make sure to cover the entire breast area.
Step 3: Palpation in Lying Down Position
Lie flat on your back with a pillow beneath your right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, repeat the same circular motions as in step 2 to examine your right breast thoroughly.
Step 4: Check for Fluid Discharge
Gently squeeze each nipple to check for any discharge. Report any abnormalities or concerns to your healthcare provider.
Remember, if you notice any changes or abnormalities during your self-examination, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider promptly. Early detection contributes significantly to favorable breast cancer treatment outcomes. Spread awareness about breast cancer, encourage your loved ones to perform regular self-exams, and together, let’s fight for a world without breast cancer.