In honour of Breast Cancer awareness month, we want to talk about something a little bit more serious – breast self-exams. In case you don’t know how to perform one, or you just need a little reminder, this post is dedicated to the 3 easy steps it takes to perform a breast self-exam.
Once a month, all adult women should be performing a breast self-exam. It is important for you to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel so that you can seek a healthcare professional should you discover any changes.
Get to know the look of your breasts. Look closely at them in the mirror, are they their usual size, shape and colour? Inspect your breasts with your arms at your side, with your arms raised above your head, and with your hands on your hips. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you should bring it to your doctor’s attention.
Recognize how your breasts feel standing up. Many women prefer to perform this step in the shower out of convenience. Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast and armpit area in a circular motion. If you feel anything that seems like a lump or a knot, make sure to get it evaluated by a doctor.
Lie down. While lying down, use your right hand to feel your left breast while your left arm rests behind your head, and then repeat on your other side. You should be using a firm but smooth touch, with your fingers flat and together. Again, circle the entire breast area (from your collarbone, to your abdomen, and your armpit). If you notice anything out of the ordinary, make sure to contact a health professional.
And that’s it!
It is important to know your own body, so that at the earliest signs of change you can contact your doctor. According to Johns Hopkins Medical center,“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump,” making the breast self-exam a vital step to take once a month for yourself and for those close to you.