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How to do self examination for breast cancer easily at home

 How to do self-examination for breast cancer easily at home

  • Breast cancer is among the most frequent malignancies among women, and every woman, regardless of age, family history, or present health, is at risk. Despite this, with the progress of breast cancer treatment, many women with breast cancer are able to live healthy lives.
  • The second most frequent malignancy in women is breast cancer. In her lifetime, about 1 in every 8 women would be affected by the disease. Mammograms are the most effective approach to identifying breast cancer in its early stages. Self-examinations, on the other hand, are a crucial aspect of breast health. Knowing your body and what is normal for you is the first step.
  • Early detection is critical for effective treatment. This is why women should follow suggested screening guidelines such as monthly self-breast examination, clinical breast examination, and mammography screening.
  • We'll show you how to check your breasts for suspicious lumps and bumps the right way. You won't have to rely on yearly mammograms to determine whether something needs to be checked out.
  • Breast self-examination, or routinely inspecting your breasts on your own, can be a valuable tool for detecting breast cancer early when it's more likely to be effectively treated.

Significance of self-examination

  • Breast self-examination is an important and useful screening tool, especially when combined with regular doctor visits, mammography, and, in some situations, ultrasound and/or MRI. Each one of these screening technologies has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Breast self-examination is a simple, low-cost instrument that may be used at any age and on a regular basis. 
  • Periodic BSE will allow you to become more comfortable with the feel and appearance of your breasts. This will make it easier for you to spot any changes or irregularities.
  • Early detection of breast cancer increases your chances of a complete recovery since additional treatment options may be available. Regular BSE can aid in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
  • If you see any abnormal changes in your breasts or if one breast differs from the other while conducting BSE, you should contact your doctor right away.
  • Self-examinations are an excellent technique for early detection. However, they should not be utilized in isolation. It's critical to obtain your mammogram in addition to completing self-exams.

What is Breast Self-Examination?

Breast self-examination (BSE) is a visual and physical inspection of the breasts performed by the lady herself, as the name implies. BSE should be done on a monthly basis, in addition to your doctor's clinical breast examination, which should be done every three years if you're in your 20s or 30s, or every year if you're 40 or older. Mammogram monitoring should be introduced after a woman reaches the age of 40.


Method and steps in breast examination

Self-examination can be done in a variety of ways. We created a simple step-by-step guide to help you through the process using information from specialists at Breastcancer.org and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

No matter which approach you take, it’s important to be thorough and systematic. It’s also vital to examine both the breast and the areas that surround it to feel for lumps or abnormal lymph nodes.

Step 1

  1. The first step is to use your fingers to feel your breasts. The shower is a good place to begin. It provides a distraction-free environment — as well as clothing — in which you may get to know your body. The wetness from the bath helps to make your breasts slick and easier to feel for this stage, which requires exploration with your hands. The first steps are as follows:
  2. Begin by cupping your right breast with your left hand.
  3. Begin moving your fingers in small, circular strokes over the full surface of the cupped breast with your right hand. Try to spot any changes in density between the breasts. It's quite natural to have somewhat different-sized breasts, but any other discrepancies should be noted.
  4. Increase your finger pressure to reach deeper tissues in and around the breast, including your armpits. Take note of any pain, lumps, or regions of swelling when you feel the different layers of the breast and surrounding areas.
  5. Make sure you also feel around the nipple. Begin in the middle and work your way outward.
  6. Once you've finished one side, repeat the process on the other.
  7. Cover the full breast, from top to bottom, left to right. The exam can be completed in a variety of ways. However, it's critical to properly cover both the breasts and the surrounding tissues.

Step 2

  1. You'll undertake a visual inspection of your breasts for this phase. As a result, it's critical to utilize a mirror large enough to show your full upper body. Take the following steps:
  2. With your hands on your hips, stand up straight and face the mirror.
  3. Examine your breasts to check if anything has changed in their size, shape, or color. Check for lumps in one or both breasts, as well as puckering of the skin. Examine the area near the breast for rashes or redness.
  4. Raise your hands in the air above your head. Check for any discharge coming from your nipples, as well as differences in the size or shape of your nipples.

Step 3

The final phase of the test is to lie down and feel your breasts. This can assist you in detecting changes that were previously difficult to identify when standing. Here are some suggestions:

Some pro tips

  1. Look for a nice, level area to lie down on. A bed is a good option.
  2. With your elbow extended out to the side, place your left arm beneath your head.
  3. Using the same circular motions as in step one, feel your left breast with your right hand. Check your armpits and the areas around your breasts as well.
  4. Use your left hand to perform the same activities on the right breast.
  5. To summarise, follow the instructions from stages one and two to check for any irregularities in the breasts.
  6. All three of these steps are necessary for a thorough examination of your breasts. Visual and kinesthetic exploration in various positions can assist you in detecting any changes in chest size or density from various perspectives.

How frequently should we try it?

1. The more you inspect your breasts, the more you will understand them and be able to detect changes. To acquaint yourselves with how your breasts regularly look and feel, make it a practice to undertake a breast self-examination once a month. Examine yourself a few days following your period is over when your breasts are the least puffy and painful. If you don't get periods anymore, pick a date that is easy to recall, such as the first or final day of the month.

2. By the time you reach the age of 20, you can begin self-examination of your breasts. It should be done once a month to familiarise yourself with the appearance and feel of your breasts. This will make detecting any changes or irregularities much easier.

3. Women who are menstruating should perform a breast self-examination a few days after their cycle has ended. This will keep your breasts from becoming sensitive or puffy.

4. Breast self-examination should be done on any day of the month for women in menopause. To avoid forgetting, choose a day that is easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.

5. Hormone-using women should seek medical advice.

6. Make self-examination of the breasts a habit. The more you inspect your breasts, maybe you'll understand them and be able to detect changes.

It's also crucial to remember that hormonal variations cause changes in your body and breasts as you age. Breast health is affected by postmenopausal and other changes in reproduction, such as the use of birth control at various times. While breast cancer cannot always be prevented, it is possible to diagnose it early. Mammograms are the most effective approach to identifying breast cancer in its early stages. Breast self-examinations, on the other hand, can be beneficial. It's critical to get acquainted with your breasts so you can detect any lumps that feel unusual. Contact your doctor if you feel any difference in the sensation or look of your breasts. They can assist in determining whether more testing is required.

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