At Thelma's we often see that breast cancer had been detected by a simple self breast exam. It's a fast and easy way to stay on top of your health, and an early diagnosis is helpful with treatment. All women should give themselves a monthly self-breast exam, however, women over the age of 40 should also have a clinical exam every other year. The more aware you are of your body the better you are at detecting problems before they get too complicated.
One can give a self-breast exam in many ways in the comfort of your own home!
1.) In the shower with flat fingers, feel every part of the breast. Be aware of any lump, it will be hard,
about the size of a pea. Not all lumps mean cancer, but it still is an early detector for issues.
2.) Inspect your breasts in the mirror with your arms at your sides and then raise your arms over
your head. Look for any (new) abnormalities such as swelling, dimple of skin or changes in the nipple. Next, place your palms on your hips and flex chest muscles and exam the size on your breasts. Very few women have equal sized breasts, so knowing this information will allow you to note if there are any changes.
3.) While lying down put a pillow/towel beneath the right shoulder with the right hand behind the head. Take note of the distributed breast tissue and if there are any irregularities. You can do this by starting at the top of the breast and moving your fingers in a clock direction around the entirety of the breast (see chart below for other patterns). Then proceed to check the left side in the same manner. Be sure to feel and check the size of the nipple as well.
Doing these simple exams monthly can help you stay in tune with your body, and be aware of changes before your check ups with your doctor.
Below is a link for further explanation, as well as diagrams, of how to proceed with a self-breast
http://ubcf.org/your-health/self- breast-exam/?gclid=CjwKCAiAm7LSBRBBEiwAvL1- Ly0-
Image from PinkUpthePace.com