Know thyself… especially your breasts.
Keeping your breasts looking great is awesome, but getting to know them is also really important since this can be helpful in noticing any changes that might require a doctors’ attention! Since it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, we will be focusing on teaching you all about breast health, and how to spot any changes way ahead of time.
Breast Self Exam: Become Your Own Boob Whisperer
Did you know that breast cancer mortality rates have been declining over the years? This decline can be attributed partially to better screening, early detection, and increased awareness. That’s right, knowledge really is power – that’s why we’re going to give you all the information you need to become experts at early detection via breast self-exams!
Step 1: The looking in the mirror part
Look at yourself in the mirror and see if you notice any differences or changes while doing different moves: start out relaxed, then raise your hands overhead, lower your arms and try flexing, etc. If you notice any differences, don’t disregard them and pay attention for a few days to see if it goes away or not.
Step 2: The standing and feeling part
Use your fingertips to feel around the surface of your breasts. You’re basically feeling for any irregularities (things like lumps, bumps, indents, etc). Again, if you notice anything unusual, keep it in mind and continually check up on it. If it doesn’t go away within a few days we recommend seeing your doctor.
Step 3: The laying down part
For this you’ll want to lie on your back, then once more use the tips of your fingers to feel over the surface of each breast and pay close attention to any irregularities.
For those of you who tend to be on the more visual side when it comes to learning, take a look at this cute and super simple step-by-step guide that we found on a YourCenter blog post, supported by the University of Virginia Health System and UVA Cancer Center.
Our breasts are all different, so you should know best what is common and uncommon for your boobs. However, if you aren’t sure exactly what signs you should be on the lookout for, then here’s a handy guideline in the image below.
Know Your Lemons Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign
Still a little bit confused as to what exactly you should be looking for when conducting a breast self-exam on your own? Here is a great rule of thumb that I came across. The Know Your Lemons Breast Cancer Awareness campaign is great at portraying all the symptoms that could mean a trip to the doctor is in order.
If you ever notice that your breasts are showing any of the signs above, and they persist, consult a healthcare physician immediately.
And if for some reason this wasn’t enough for you, and you would appreciate a more detailed instruction on how to conduct a breast self-exam, you can take a look at this breast self-exam explained step by step here.
We hope we left you with more answers than questions when it comes to how to conduct a breast self-exam, and what exactly to look out for. It’s great to adopt into your regular routine and can make a world of difference when it comes to treatment. And remember, healthy breasts are happy breasts!