The reason I opened the page is to pass some information across which to those who already know it will serve as a reminder and to those who don't it becomes a source.
So, some might wonder "how often do you check what?".
What = Breasts!
I have stumbled upon a few more cases of breast cancer online these past weeks and most of the cases were pretty advanced! It made me wonder, what if they had checked more often?
Don't get me wrong I am not implying that checking regularly will prevent the cancer from developing but it sure would aid early detection! Early detection means better prognosis.
Q: When is the best time to perform the breast self-exam?
A: it is best to check halfway through your menstrual cycle(anytime from the end of the menses is fine)..,because most female tumors are hormone dependent.,,,,have you ever wondered why your breasts feel fuller when you are expecting your period? It's pretty much the same way any abnormal growth inside will most likely increase in size around that same period!
Q: How to perform the breast exam?
A: M-B-S....Mirror, Bed, Shower!
Start in front of a mirror: Study the shape,size,drape,skin color and symmetry of your breast carefully first with both arms hanging loosely on your sides, then move your hands to your waist and then clasp them behind your head...all the while studying your breast carefully.
Next starting from the middle with one hand still behind the head make small circular motions on the breast with the free hand from bottom to the other side..,paying attention to any swelling visible or felt in the armpit area. Switch hand and repeat. The breast should feel uniform without abnormal bumps.
After the both breast have been checked slightly press each nipple between thumb and fore-finger..In norm there should be no discharge with exception to lactation.
To the Bed: Same movements only with change of body position..,lie back with a pillow beneath your head and shoulders..,repeat the hand motion as above on each breast.
In the Shower: The importance of this part is the ease of hand movement due to the extra slipperiness given by soap.., so make sure you have enough lather..,then repeat the hand motion on each breast.
Finito! You are done.
Take note of all your findings..,if you sense anything off..,contact you gynecologist immediately!
Once every month, approximately 15 minutes of your time could be a life-saver and an opportunity to know your body more!
P.s: For those who are not confident they are doing the exam right ,ask your gynecologist to directly teach you on your next appointment, also when you are there you could ask for the breast self exam cards..,they are tiny cards with pictures and step by step instructions on how to perform the exam..,get one of those and give it a place on your bathroom mirror!
Be health conscious, be body conscious, be wise...
Know your body!