A self-breast exam is considered the best way to detect the first signs of breast cancer. This simple examination doesn’t require any machines or tools to perform. Just using your fingertips to sense any bumps can help save you from breast cancer.
Many women may not know what to feel for or what a bump feels like. The importance of frequent self-breast exams is for you to feel what your breast feels normally and be able to detect something that you hadn’t felt before. Since some women may not be at the right age for a mammogram, a self-breast exam is the key to preventative care. Breast care awareness will help keep more women from being lost to breast cancer.
Techniques to Perform a Self-breast Exam
It’s so important for women to get to know how their breast feel. They will be able to instantly feel something that wasn’t there before. Monthly self-breast exams are a key component for breast cancer awareness.
Look in the mirror
While all the self-breast exams require you to touch around your breast, this self-breast exam technique requires you to just have a mirror and a good eye. Simply stand in front of a mirror and observe your breast.
The things to look for are:
- Usual size, color, and shape of your breast
- Evenly shaped without swelling or visible distortion
If you start to see the following, ask a doctor if they are serious considerations for breast cancer:
- Bulging and dimpling
- Nipple position changed
- Swelling or visible rash
Laying it down
On those lazy Sundays when you are laying in bed, a self-breast exam can be checked off your to-do list. The lying down self-exam technique helps spread the breast tissue evenly in the chest wall. Lay a pillow under your right shoulder and arm and keep it behind the head. With gentle circular motions, use your left hand to feel around your right breast area and armpit. Squeeze the right nipple and look for discharge and lumps. Repeat the same process on the left breast.
For those days when you have time for a longer shower, try to squeeze in your monthly self-breast exam if you hadn’t already. Similar to the lying down technique, use your opposite hand to feel your breast area and armpit. This technique will seem more helpful to women because they are able to get a better feeling of the breast when the breasts are wet. Look for discharge and lumps in the nipples and for anything you normally don’t feel.
Women’s Health Is Our Priority
We put women’s health first at Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care. Our doctors offer genetic testing and counseling for breast, ovarian, colorectal, and uterine cancers. Schedule a consultation with our doctors today!