WHAT WOMEN NEED TO KNOW
Women’s Health — Breast Self-Exam Tool
Monthly breast self-exams are an option for all women beginning by age 20. Women who regularly examine their breasts become more aware of how their breasts normally feel. They are more likely to notice changes — including masses or lumps — that could be early signs of cancer. It’s best to check about a week after your period, when breasts are not swollen or tender. If you no longer have a period, examine yourself on the same day every month. If you see or feel a change in your breasts, see your doctor immediately. But remember, most of the time breast changes are not cancer.
Using a mirror, inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides, with your hands on your hips, and with your arms raised while flexing your chest muscles.
Raise both arms. Look for any changes in contour, swelling, dimpling of skin, or appearance of the nipple. It is normal if your right and left breasts do not match exactly.
Using the pads of your fingers, press firmly on your breast, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Move around your breast in a circular, up-and-down, or wedge pattern. Remember to use the same method every month. Check both breasts.
There are three patterns you can use to examine your breast: the circular, the up-and-down, and the wedge patterns. Use the pattern that is easiest for you, and use the same pattern every month.
Gently squeeze the nipple of each breast and report any discharge to your doctor immediately.
Examine both breasts lying down. To examine the right breast, place a pillow under your right shoulder and place your right hand behind your head. Using the pads of your fingers, press firmly, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Use the same pattern you used while standing. Repeat for your left breast.
American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer
The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most adults.
Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health
Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.
~~Susan G. Komen for the Cure® recommends~~
~~Know your risk~~
Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer
Ask your health care provider which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40
Sign up for your screening reminder at komen.org/reminder
Know what is normal for you and see your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes
Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
Change in the size or shape of the breast
Dimpling or puckering of the skin
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
Make healthy lifestyle choices
Maintain a healthy weight
Add exercise into your routine
Limit alcohol intake
Limit menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use)
Breastfeed, if you can
In summary, each one of us is responsible for our own health. This is one of the main duties that we have for ourselves = safeguard our health. A medical provider can’t know something has changed unless you tell her.
So … the ball is in our court.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK THE “TATAS”!!
We ALL are ONE!!