How To Do A Breast Self Exam At Home
Your body goes through various changes over the years, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse! Either way, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror every now and then, and appreciate what you see! You could do with the self-love, no? Well, paying attention to your body can do a lot more than that. For instance, doing a breast self-exam at home can actually help with early detection of breast cancer, which is half the battle won.
So, this Breast Cancer Month, show your body (especially your breasts) some love by doing a breast self-exam right from the comfort of your home!
When should you do a breast self-exam?
A breast self-examination should be done on a monthly basis. The best time to do one is a few days after your menstrual cycle, so that hormonal changes that affect the area are minimal. It is recommended to get a mammogram done twice a year by a physician as well.
How should you do the self-examination?
Get to know your own body because that will help you recognise any new change or difference. Here’s a step by step guide to doing the self-exam at home:
Look at yourself in the mirror to see if your breasts look different in size, shape, or symmetry. Check the skin colour as well as texture to see if it is not reddened or dimpled all of a sudden.
Apart from simply standing in front of the mirror with your hands by your sides, also raise your arms and stand hunched over with your hands on your hips, checking your breasts in both these positions too.
2. Look at the nipple
Now examine your nipples to see if the shape, colour or position of them have changed. Press a little to check if there is any discharge or fluid coming out.
3. Feel the breasts
Use the pads of your fingers, not the tips, to check for any bumps or lumps that feel different, if they weren’t there before.
4. Check under your arms
Cancerous lumps can be formed from under your arms up to your armpit. Check the entire area for bumps or lumps as well.
What can you do if you find a lump?
If you do find any lumps or changes in your breasts, do not freak out! There is a high chance that the abnormalities might not even be cancerous. This is when you go see a doctor to have your breasts professionally examined.