One thing we as women have probably noticed growing up is that we do not know our bodies the way we should. As women and mothers we devote the majority of our time to making sure we’re excelling in our careers, looking our best, our families are taken care of, etc. All the while, we’re all too often neglecting our bodies. We don’t eat right, workout, or go to the doctors office when something isn’t right. We believe taking over the counter medication will work and everything will be fine. It’s not until our bodies begin to shut down that we finally make the decision to go to the doctors office. It’s not always going to be easy to find time however it is something we should address.
One often forgotten about but super important health maintenance activity is the self breast exam. In a study gathered from nearly 6,000 women with breast cancer, the researchers found that women younger than 50 were more than likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer by feeling their own tumor.
Self exams may not be something you want to do right now, but in the long run, they could save your life. Giving yourself regular exams at least once a month can help with early detection of breast cancer and provide you with greater chance of beating it. Ladies, we are the advocates for our health and it is time we begin to take it seriously!
Here’s how to start your fight:
Step 1: Examine your breast in the mirror standing straight up and shoulders back while your arms are at your side. Look for unusual size, color, and shape, as well as swelling and visible distortion Redness and rash are signs as well.
Step 2: Raise your arms and repeat step 1
Step 3: Look for signs of fluids coming out of one or both nipples
Step 4: Feel your breast while laying down (use right hand for left breast and left hand for right breast) use a firm but gentle touch with only a few fingers held together. Cover the entire breast using a pattern from top to bottom and side to side. Use larger circular motions beginning at the nipple until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You may also use an up and down vertical approach.
Step 5: Finish the exam by sitting or standing up and feeling the breasts. A lot of females find the easiest way to do this is while the skin is wet (this may be done in the shower). Cover the entire breast the same way as in step 4.