A women’s breast serves several purposes other than just making them look beautiful and attractive. With a child’s first actual meal being the mother’s breast fed milk, this part of a woman's body consists of various internal parts such as mammary glands, ducts, sternum and lobules. With breast being an important part of a woman's body it becomes quite essential and important to look after its health. With breast cancer being one of the most common kinds of cancer found in women worldwide, it becomes very important to spread awareness about this topic so that people would know different ways of keeping their breasts healthy and prevent this condition. Where prevention is important but it is not all. Some known as timely detection plays a crucial role when it comes to such serious diseases like breast cancer. Where regular medical check-ups are important in order to know about the condition of your breast and to keep yourself at bay from such fatal diseases. Self examination is a track that plays an important role in early and timely detection of this disease. Through the means of self-examination, a person can detect a lump in the breast region and the area around at an early stage. Where it is not just your breasts that you need to examine in order to diagnose this condition but some other areas too. Read along to know more about breast cancer self examination and know what all areas one needs to examine in order to detect breast cancer, with Dr. Tanya, MBBS, Msc(Oxon) FRSPH aka Dr Cuterus.
Breast Cancer Self examination
Breast cancer examination is nothing but a regular self check up that a woman needs to do in order to find the cancer at an early stage. A self examination accompanied with some other screening methods, makes it the best combination that is very helpful in the early detection of this condition. The reason that we are stressing so much upon the importance of early detection of this disease is that the cancer cells grow rapidly and hence start becoming more fatal with time. An early detection of this condition is said to be helpful in getting a timely and more efficient treatment that can save lives. Where it is not just your breasts that you need to examine in order to detect breast cancer but some other body parts as well.
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Let’s find out what these other regions are and see what Dr. Tanya has to say about it- “You must know that you should be checking more than your boobs when you are examining yourself for breast cancer. Every month a woman is supposed to cover her A’s, B’s and C’s. They are your armpits, breasts and collarbone. When you check yourself every month to make sure that there are no suspicious lumps. Rake your hand and move it around your armpits to see if there is something lumpy. Then go examine your breasts by moving your hands onto them to check if there is something bumpy or suspicious over there. Lastly check for your collarbones. Ensure that you check yourself regularly and keep yourself safe.”
How to Self-Examine?
While we have learnt all about the importance of self examination and the important role that it plays in early detection and timely treatment of deadly breast cancer. Where just knowing about the importance of it and areas to check is not enough, here’s your step by step guide to the ways in which you can self examine yourself easily, once a month.
Step 1- Stand in front of a decent sized mirror and patiently observe your breasts for any change in their size, shape or colour along with any traces of swelling or distortion. Also check for traces of any kind of fluid coming out of your nipples.
Step 2- Raise your arms up and take a close look at your armpits to see if there’s something suspicious or a lumpy formation in that region.
Step 3- While lying down flat on your bed, take your hand onto your breasts and move it around in a soft circular motion. Feel your breast by moving the hands around to see if there is any kind of lump formation underneath. Make sure that you cover the entire region starting off from your collarbones to the breasts and all the way to those armpits.
Step 4- Now stand up straight and firmly move your hands around all these regions to detect the formation of a lump or any kind of swelling in all these three regions.
This article is based upon a post by Dr. Tanya, MBBS, Msc(Oxon) FRSPH, on her instagram handle.