Breast Self-Examination: How to Check for Lumps

Breast Cancer is The Second Leading Cause of Death Among Women (Image Source: Shutterstock)
Early Detection Is The Best Way to Beat the Disease (Image Source: Shutterstock)

How Common Is Breast Cancer?

Studies show that one in eight women in the US will develop breast cancer. While breast cancer can affect men too, the number is low: about one in a thousand.

  • A breast lump or some form of thickening that has a different feel from the rest of the surrounding tissue
  • Unexplained changes in the appearance, shape, or size of the breast
  • Changes in the appearance of the breast skin — in most cases, dimpling
  • An inverted nipple or a change in nipple positioning
  • Scaling, flaking, or peeling of the skin that surrounds the nipple
  • Redness of the breast skin that resembles orange skin

Why is Breast Self-Examination Important?

Cancer prevention has come a long way, but progress needs to continue. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer and advocating for breast health among women and men alike.

You Need To Get Yourself Checked If a Close Relative Has Had a Breast Cancer. (Image Source: Shutterstock)
  • Have a previous breast cancer diagnosis or other breast conditions
  • Have dense breasts or been exposed to radiation
  • Have a high alcohol consumption

How to Do a Breast Self-Examination at Home

They say cancer prevention is better than a cure, and with breast cancer, this prevention begins with a regular breast exam that you can do at home.

Breast Cancer: How to Do a Breast Self Exam — Best Damn Self
  • Next, raise your arms above your head and check for the same changes.
  • Check to see if there is any discharge coming out of the nipples. This could be a milky, watery, or yellowish fluid and, in some advanced cases, blood.
  • Lie down and use your hands to feel for any lump in your breasts. Your right hand should examine your left breast, and vice versa.
  • With your fingers together and lying flat, on the breasts, use circular motions to examine every quarter of the breasts from the collarbone to the armpit region.
  • Begin at the nipple, making large circular motions. You can also move your fingers up and down in rows. The goal is to feel all the tissue, including deep inside the breast, so adjust the pressure accordingly.
  • Then, stand up or sit straight in a chair and conduct the same breast examination. The best time to do a breast exam is when you shower, as the skin is wet.

Why are Exercise and Breast Cancer Screenings Important?

Exercise has always been at the top of the list when it comes to preventing diseases like dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and now breast cancer. According to research, physical activity is heavily linked to longer survival in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Research shows that women who exercised regularly before and after their diagnoses were less likely to have cancer come back or die from it.

Mammogram Detects Unusual Patterns Long Before a Breast Lump Is Even Detected (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Other Steps can You Take to Maintain Breast Health?

You can reduce your risk of breast cancer by maintaining your breast health. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight by engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Breastfeeding for as long as you can reduces your risk of breast cancer.
  • Avoid consuming too much alcohol, and quit smoking.
  • Find out your family’s breast cancer history, as you may be at a higher risk of developing the disease if you have a first-degree family member with breast cancer.
  • Eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy proteins. Avoid highly processed and sugary foods.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Check for Lumps

Almost everyone has been directly or indirectly affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer awareness month is the time to check your breasts and form a regular self-examination habit. Conducting breast self-examinations at home should help you spot any irregular changes to your breasts.

5 Steps to Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer — Cone Health

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