3 Simple Ways to Check Yourself for Breast Cancer
Women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast-self exams at least once a month. This helps you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your doctor if there are any changes. Early detection of breast cancer can make the disease easier to treat.
3 Simple ways to check for breast cancer yourself are:
1. In the shower
- Using your hand and fingers to feel your breast.
- Using the pads of your fingers, move around entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center
2. In front of a mirror
- Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Now, raise your arms and look for any changes in the contour, dimpling of the skin, any swelling, or changes in the nipples
- Next rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to relax your chest muscles. Look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes
3. Laying down
- When laying down, put your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, gently feel your right breast
- Move the pads of your fingers around your right breast in small circular motions covering the entire breast area
- Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast
Signs you should go to see a doctor
- Lump or hard knot
- Pulling in of your nipple
- Nipple discharge
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
Although women over 40 are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, especially ones who have no children, were pregnant later in life, and have a family history of breast cancer. All women are encouraged to perform self-breast exam at least once a month.
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