“Detect Early, Treat Early”
What is a Breast Self-Examination?
A breast self-examination is a screening technique for woman to check for breast lumps at home itself. It can help screen for tumors, cysts and other abnormalities in the breasts. A self-exam may be less effective than a monogram, but it does help familiarize with the shape, size, and texture of the breasts. This will help deject the any kind of abnormality in your breasts. In case you find one, report the change to your health care provider. One way to learn what is normal for your breasts and to find any problems is to do a breast self-exam.
What to look for when you do a Breast Self-Examination (BSE)?
You need to know that it may be normal for your breasts to feel a bit lumpy. You should check for any new place in your breast that feels thicker or harder than the rest of your breast.
Johns Hopkins Medical center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
When to perform a Breast Self-Exam?
The best time to do a monthly self-breast exam is about 3 to 5 days after your period starts. Do it at the same time every month. Your breasts are not as tender or lumpy at this time in your monthly menstrual cycle and it’s best to perform the exam when your breasts are in their normal state.
Keep a journal of your self-exams which will help you track and record any changes you have noticed in your breasts. If you have gone through menopause, do your exam on the same day every month.
How to perform a Breast Self-Exam?
Follow the steps ahead and looks for them boobs!
- Use A Mirror: The self-examination should always be done in good light. Stand in front of a mirror. Leave your arms by your side. Look at your breasts. Slowly turn from side to side. You might also want to check for rashes or any discharge from the nipples. Change in skin color or texture should also be noticed.
- Arms Up: This is to examine your breasts and armpit. Lift your arms above your head while still looking in the mirror. Look out for any changes you might feel.
- Lie Down On Your Back: To examine the left breast, place your left hand behind your head. With your right hand, starting in the under- arm area, use the pads (not the tips) of your three middle fingers to feel your left breast. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your right breast.
- Pay Special Attention to Armpits: Check under your arm and up to your collarbone too. When feeling in the underarm area, sit or stand and raise your arm slightly. Do not raise your arm over your head.
Feel your breasts up and down, and in circular motion too. Use varying pressure (light, medium, and firm pressure) and take your time. You can follow the procedure in the shower as well. The water and soap in the shower will allow your fingers to glide easily over your skin.
What should you do if you find a change?
Most of the time the changes women find in their breasts are not cancer. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. A health check up might just save your life if you need medical treatment.
The main goal of breast self-examination is to get to know the feel of your breasts so you can be alerted if anything changes. It’s so important to know how your breasts feel. It might sound weird, but that’s the only way to know when something changes. And that can quite literally save your life.
Your boobies, trust us, are great. Just get to know them so you can save them.
*This is general information developed by the Fitness India Show. It is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.