Hi to all my Bellas! Since one of my goals is to promote breast cancer awareness I’ve decided to do a “How To,” blog on the proper way to give yourself a breast exam. A self breast examination is considered to be an early detection method for breast cancer. 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.”
Breast exams should be done on a monthly basis. If you do them regularly you will be able to notice if there are any changes or abnormalities within your breast tissue. It’s ideal to do them towards the end or right after your monthly cycle. If you no longer have a period or if you are menopausal it is best to pick a specific day each month. I cannot express how important this is and the awesome part is that it only takes a few minutes. I found my lump by giving myself a breast exam and now I know it saved my life! So go ahead and cop a feel because this valuable technique just might save your life too!
You can do your breast exam while lying on your back, in front of a mirror, or in the shower. I would recommend lying on your back because you want your breast tissue to be as evenly distributed as possible. If you are checking your right breast you can put a pillow underneath your left side or roll onto your left side. You will then place your right hand either behind your head or on top of your forehead.
Next you should take the pads of your fingers and starting from the outer most portion of your right breast move your fingers in a circular motion around the breast tissue. Slowly work your way around your entire breast repeating the circular movements. You can change the amount of pressure you are applying so you are assured you are checking all levels of the breast tissue. You want to make sure you move in the circular pattern at least 3 times prior to moving on.
Once you’ve checked your entire breast you also want to examine your nipples. Carefully check your nipple area using the same circular motions. Check for any discharge, redness, irritation, swelling or scale like appearance.
Repeat this same method on the opposite breast.
Once you’ve self-examined each breast you want to compare both breasts. This may be best to do in a mirror with arms at your sides. Look for any changes in complexion, dimpling, swelling, redness, abnormal vein patterns, or change in size between each breast and each nipple.
Breast exams are typically started around age 18, but really it’s never too soon. Self-breast exams should be performed by both male and females. You should still do monthly breast exams even if you are pregnant or nursing. Remember I found my lump just 4 months after my daughter was born! If you happen to find a lump notify your health care provider right away for further evaluation. Also, don’t freak out! Not all lumps are cancerous, but you want to have it checked to rule out any other possible diagnosis.
For more information on self breast examinations you can check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation at:
So that’s it for today…. Quick and easy, right? I really hope this was helpful. Now, GO GET YOUR FEEL ON! Lol
Happy feeling and Ciao Bella,