Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies in women, and every woman has a chance of developing cancer regardless of age, history, and medical condition. Thanks to early detection, awareness and advanced medical technology in cancer treatment, women with carcinoma can live happy and healthy lives even after cancer is detected.
Early detection greatly increases the chances of effective cancer treatment. This is one of the life-saving reasons why every woman should follow breast self-examination or visit the neighbourhood hospital for the best clinical breast screening.
What is a breast self-exam?
Breast self-examination is a stepwise procedure for a woman to know their breast health. Every woman should aware of this procedure to note something appears abnormal and get immediate medical attention early as possible.
Why should you do a breast self-exam?
Monthly breast self-exams help you identify any abnormal changes, infection in the breast or carcinoma (breast lumps or spots that feel different). If cancer is detected early, the possibilities for survival are far better.
Breast self-exams are necessary for your breast health. However, you should follow the self-exam procedures and screening tests (such as mammograms) recommended by your doctors. Even after self-examination, you must consult your general physician and gynaecologist in your neighbourhood.
Is there a particular time of the month I should do a breast self-exam?
You should keep the practice of breast self-examination once every month. The best time to self-examine your breast is after 3-5 days of your menstruation cycle (regular period). Your breasts are not as tender or lumpy at this time in your monthly period cycle. Your hormone levels fluctuate each month during your menstrual cycle, which causes changes in breast tissue. Swelling begins to decrease when your period starts. If your menstruation is stopped or you are in irregular periods, pick any day from every month to self-examine your breast. Try to consult with best cancer treatment hospital in chennai.
How long does a breast self-examination take?
A breast self-exam takes only a couple of minutes. You can plan this step in your daily schedule. Do your breast examination once you’re:
- Dressing for the day or undressing at night.
- Lying in bed in the morning or at bedtime.
- Taking a shower.
How to do a breast self-exam?
While taking shower
With the pads/flats of your three middle fingers, check your breast by pressing down with light-weight, medium, and firm pressure. Check each breast every month feeling for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or other breast changes.
In Front of a Mirror
Visually examine your breasts together with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes, swelling, dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipples or outline of your breast.
Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts won’t precisely match—but some women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, especially on one side of your breast.
To do this, lie on your back in bed. It is easier for your breast tissue to spread out equally on the chest wall. Place a pillow below your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Use your middle fingers on your left hand, and move the pads of your fingers around your right breast, gently covering the complete breast space and armpit.
Apply light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.
When should you consult a doctor?
If you identify any lumps, firm feelings in your breast or abnormal changes, don’t panic. Most self-exam findings aren’t signs of breast cancer. However, you should consult your doctor or visit your neighbour’s hospital if you notice any:
- Change in the look, feel or size of the breast and nipple.
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
- Lump, hard knot or thick spot in your breast tissue.
- Nipple discharge.
- Nipple or inward nipple area.
- Continuous pain in one part of the breast.
- Rashes, red and inflamed nipple.
- Swelling of 1 or each breast.
A note from Dr. Mehta’s
Taking a monthly breast self-exam helps you maintain good breast health and detect the early signs of your medical condition. You can incorporate the steps of a breast self-examination into your daily routine or as a monthly routine, like before your bedtime or after your shower. With every breast self-exam, you can be more aware of your body. Once you are normal with this practice, you will come to know about the minor changes happening in your body.
Dr. Mehta’s Hospitals has focused on women’s wellness and creating awareness for breast cancer for the past few years. Dr. Mehta best multispeciality hospital in chennai established an exclusive breast clinic for every woman in the city. People are getting benefits from the screening package at an affordable cost.