Did you know that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women and is increasing every year. As much as we love and celebrate our femininity, just being a women puts you at risk for breast cancer. So knowing what your breasts look and feel like on a normal day allows you to spot any changes as soon as they appear.
Step 1: LOOK
Stand in front of a mirror (or a friend) and check for any changes in the normal shape and size of your breasts.
Changes in your breasts shape or size
A lump or thickening in the breast or armpit (usually painless)
Swelling to all or part of the breast
Dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast (like an orange peel)
Changes in skin condition of the breast and nipple (redness, scaliness or thickening)
Nipple inversion (the nipple turns inwards)
Abnormal Discharge from the nipple
It’s important to check for changes with your arms in different positions
Arm at sides
Hands on your hips
Step 2: FEEL
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and a pillow placed under your shoulder
Use the pads of your free hand to feel around
In small, overlapping circular moves, work your way systematically from the outer side of your breast to the inner side of your breast.
Follow an up and down (vertical) pattern or spiral pattern, or any other pattern as long as you cover the entire breast.
If you are in a rush, then why not do a quick check in the shower, however, remember that you breast tissues are thinnest when you are lying flat so lumps are more easily palpable.
Best time to check you breast is after your period when your breasts are less tender.
Try to check your breast around about the same time every month
Relax and breathe as you normally would so that your muscles are more relaxed
Set a monthly reminder on your cell phone, diary or calendar as life could easily distract you
Regular breast self-examination can empower you by getting to know your body.
Who knows, it could save your life