How to Perform a Self-Exam for Your Breasts
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to empower us with knowledge and take proactive steps toward breast health. One essential tool in the fight against breast cancer is breast self-assessment. Let’s jump into performing a breast self-exam and why breast self-awareness is so important. 🌸🎗️
Why Breast Self-Awareness Matters:
Breast self-awareness is defined as a woman’s awareness of the normal appearance and feel of her breasts. By regularly examining your breasts, you become familiar with their normal look and feel, making it easier to spot any changes that might require further evaluation.
Women should be attuned to noticing a change or potential problem with their breasts and should be educated about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and advised to notify their health care provider if they notice a change such as pain, a mass, new onset of nipple discharge, or redness in their breasts.
Early detection can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment.
How to Perform a Breast Self-Examination:
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you perform a breast self-exam:
Step 1: Choose a Comfortable Setting
- Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can concentrate without distractions. Some people prefer the shower as it may be easier to examine.
Step 2: Begin the Examination
- Start by standing in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides.
- Look for any changes in the size, shape, or contour of your breasts.
- Check for dimpling, puckering, or changes in the skin texture.
- Examine your nipples for any signs of inversion or discharge.
Step 3: Raise Your Arms
- Raise your arms overhead and see the same changes.
Step 4: Perform the Examination Lying Down
- Lie down with a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head.
- Use your left hand to feel your right breast gently in small, circular motions.
- Cover the entire breast, moving from the outside to the center.
- Pay attention to any lumps, thickening, or changes in texture.
- Repeat this process for your left breast, using your right hand.
Step 5: Check Your Armpits
- Don’t forget to check your armpits for any enlarged lymph nodes.
Step 6: Stand Up Again
- Return to a standing position and check once more in the mirror.
What to Look For: Be on the lookout for any of the following changes:
- Unusual lumps or masses.
- Changes in breast size or shape.
- Skin redness, dimpling, or puckering.
- Nipple changes, such as inversion, discharge, or scaling.
When to Seek Professional Care:
If you notice any of these changes during your self-assessment, it’s important not to panic but to take prompt action. Schedule an appointment with our OB/GYN providers for a professional examination. Early detection and professional evaluation are vital in breast health. 🏥📞
Breast self-awareness is a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer. By staying vigilant and knowing your body, you can contribute to your own well-being. Remember, Adelante Healthcare is here to support you in your journey to better health.
Book your appointment with our OB/GYN providers today, and let’s prioritize your breast health together! 💪🌸