Because even in a world withand numerous ways to talk to a doctor online taking care of yourself starts with yourself. By setting aside only five minutes each month to take a you can increase the chance of early detection if you have cancer. The sooner 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.
How to perform a self-examination for breast cancer
1. Just look at your breasts in the mirror. Look from different angles, with your arms down and then up.
What you should see:
- Breasts that are smooth and show no visible signs of distortion
- The usual size, shape and color of your breasts
Signs to watch out for:
- Changes in the skin texture, such as dimples, folds or bulging
- Changes in the position of one of the nipples
- Redness, spots or other signs of rash
- Abnormal swelling
- All signs of liquid coming from either one nipple
2. Feel your breasts while you lie down, and then again while you get up. Use the pads of your first two or three fingers to make circular movements the size of a quarter along the entire surface of your breasts (top, sides, front, bottom) and near your armpit. Use light, medium and firm pressure to feel the different layers of tissue.
What you should feel:
- The usual consistency of your breasts
- What & # 39; normal & # 39; is in the different parts of your breasts
Signs to look out for:
- Lumps or hard masses in your breast tissue
- Thickening or fullness that feels different than the surrounding tissue
- Unusual heat
- A nipple that is inverted (pressed instead of indicated)
Why should I do a self-examination for breast cancer?
For clarity, a self-examination cannot diagnose you with breast cancer – only doctors can do that through various tests, including a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI or breast tissue biopsy.
However, performing self-examinations can help you become familiar with your breasts, so that you notice subtle changes. You must become familiar with the size, shape, symmetry (or asymmetry), color and texture of your breasts.
Knowing how your breasts change in relation to yourand can also help you prevent false warning signs.
How often do you have to check yourself for breast cancer?
Performing a breast self-examination every month is the best way to become familiar and stay familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. Most health organizations see no additional value in checking more than once a month, although it cannot hurt.
Apps and tools to help with breast cancer self-examination
If you experience problems remembering the usual appearance and feel of your breasts, try a & # 39; card & # 39; to register the different colors and consistency of your breast tissue. These apps and tools can help you with breast cancer self-examination and keep you on track.
Check Yourself! : This app, offered by the Keep A Breast Foundation, helps you to prepare a regular routine for self-breast checks. You can set a date and get a monthly push reminder, and the app guides you through your self-exam every time.
B4BC : This app from Boarding for Breast Cancer teaches you how to perform a self-breast examination, enables you to set up a schedule that is synchronous with your menstrual cycle and offers resources such as educational content, healthy recipes and wellness tips.
Pink Luminous Breast Light : This portable tool from the Pink Luminous Advocacy Project is intended to make self-examination for breast cancer easier and more effective. It uses LED technology to identify nodules, dark spots, clusters, and other characters that you may not be able to see with your eyes or with your fingers. This tool does not replace screenings by a doctor, but may increase the chance of early detection.
What to do if you see something crooked
Don't panic. Changes in breast tissue, including nodules and dimples, are often benign (non-cancerous). In fact, eight out of ten lumps are not malignant. Changes can occur due to hormonal fluctuations, cysts, calcification or other benign breast disease. You must make an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation to exclude breast cancer or any other health condition that requires treatment.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.