Just by touching, observing and checking for abnormalities in breast shape and color, you can detect abnormalities or tumors in the breast area.
Regular breast self-exams can help detect breast cancer early. Breast self-examination in combination with other screening methods can accurately diagnose breast cancer. The earlier the disease is detected, the higher the chance of cure. Here are 5 steps to guide you to do regular breast self-exams at home according to Breast Cancer (USA).
You put your arms on your hips, keeping your shoulders straight to look at your chest in the mirror. You check that the breast is the normal size, shape and color. The breast has a uniform shape without any distortion or swelling.
If your skin is sunken, wrinkled, or bulging, your nipples are repositioned, or your nipples are inverted (push inward instead of protruding); Redness, pain, rash or swelling are all unusual signs.
You raise your arms up and look for the same changes in step one.
You continue to look for signs of fluid discharge from one or both nipples (it can be yellow, milky, or yellow liquid or blood).
You lie down and examine your chest with your hands. You use your right hand to check the left breast and vice versa. Use three fingers (index, middle, and ring fingers) to gently press on the breast while circling, looking for lumps or unusually thick patches. Starting from the inside of the nipple, move outwards in a spiral direction.
Move gradually up the armpit to the armpit to see if there are lymph nodes because the tumor can move to this area. Repeat the same breast exam with the other breast.
Finally, you check your chest while standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet, so check them in the shower. You perform the test steps as instructed in step 4.
You should try to get into the habit of doing a breast self-exam once a month to get used to the normal look and feel of your breasts. Check your breasts a few days after your period ends, when your breasts are less likely to swell and soften, choose a date that’s easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.
The upper, outer area near your armpit tends to have the most prominent lumps and bumps. If you feel a lump in your breast, don’t worry too much. Most women always have some lumps or lumps on the breast, and most of these breast lumps are benign (not cancerous). There are several possible causes of noncancerous tumors such as hormonal changes, trauma, etc.
If you notice a lump or other change in your breast that is concerning, you should see your doctor, especially if these changes last more than one menstrual cycle. If you’re menstruating, you can wait until the end of your period to see if a lump or other change in your breast goes away on its own before calling your doctor.
To evaluate for a lump in the breast, your doctor will review your medical history, do a complete breast physical exam, and will likely order breast imaging tests. Ultrasound is often the test used to evaluate tumors in women under the age of 30, who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Both ultrasound and mammograms are generally recommended to evaluate for tumors in women over 30 years of age, who are not pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If further testing is needed, your doctor may recommend additional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), biopsies, etc. They may also refer you to a breast specialist (usually a breast surgeon) for further evaluation.
Kim Uyen (According to Breast Cancer)