Breast self examination
Early diagnosis is the only way!
Breast self-examination is a simple routine that can make a significant contribution to the early diagnosis of breast cancer and can actually save women from this disease.
A woman's breast changes during her lifetime. Menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormonal treatments, contraceptives and even small injuries can cause changes to the breast. Shortly before and during your period, the breasts become more firm, while there can be pain or small masses may appear. This is a normal condition and is caused by fluids that accumulate in breasts.
Self examine your breasts every month, so you will know how your breasts are. That way you will be able to notice any changes, if and when they appear. For women before menopause it is best to self-examine 3 or 4 days after their period, when the breasts are “calmed” and any possible swelling due to menstruation is gone. If you have been through menopause, choose a day of the week- the same each month (ie the first week) to self examine.
You should not be afraid to visit your doctor, or even better a Breast specialist. Early diagnosis saves lives!
Click the link at the beginning of the article to see how easily and quickly you can do breast self-exams too!
Step 1: Stand in front of a mirror and check your breasts. Look carefully at each breast for any lumps, lesions, redness and change of size. Your breast are never symmetrical, so do not be afraid of that. Check for changes that you have never seen before. Also, check thoroughly the size and placing of your breast nipples. If you notice anything suspicious please consult your doctor the soonest possible.
Step 2: Raise your arms, behind your head. Check the size and shape of your breasts. Check again for any lumps, lesions, redness and change of size.
Step 3: Using just your fingertips feel your breasts from inside out with circular motions, covering all the areas with you tips. If you feel something hard inside, feel again carefully to make sure there is something there. If yes, notify your doctor immediatelly.
Step 4: With you right hand, Using just your fingertips feel your left breast and vice versa. Feel only small areas at a time, as big as a quarter coin. If you notice anything suspicious please notify your doctor the soonest possible.
Step 5: Using just your index and middle fingers repeat the above. If you notice anything suspicious please notify your doctor the soonest possible .
Step 6: Use your index finger to press your breast nipple inside and the areola, then pull slightly upwards. If you feel anything hard under the nipple, or something is holding it back, not letting it move freely, or if you experience an unusual pain in the area please notify your doctor.
Step 7: Press slightly but firmly each breast nipple using your index and thumb. If you feel unusual pain, or liquid is coming out of your nipple or areola notify your doctor immediately.
Step 8: Lie down on your bed. Put a small pillow under your back, high up to yourshoulders. Put your left hand behind your head and use your right hand to feel your left breast and vice versa. Follow again steps 3 and 4. If you experience any pain in the area, a lump, or anything unusual please notify your doctor.