How To Perform A Self Breast Exam

How To Perform A Self Breast Exam

October 22, 2019 / Franki D'Ambrosio

A self breast exam should is critical to detecting breast cancer in its early stages. In part with regular check-ups by your doctor, a self exam may even increase your chances of survival. Some medical groups believe different facts about the exam. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about a self breast exam.

Is A Self Exam Beneficial?

How To Perform A Self Breast Exam

There has been many studies to show the positives and negatives a self breast exam. Some say that it has no effect in helping to prevent or even catch breast cancer. Many people claim that is has the ability to cause harm to your body by making women have unnecessary biopsies. A biopsy is the removal and examination of suspicious tissue. The American Cancer Society no longer recommends women to do a self breast examination. However, breastcancer.org still supports the exam. It should be used with regular doctor visits and yearly tests as well. Each of these devices work in a different way to help you monitor your health. A self breast exam is a free tool that women can use in the convenience of their home. They should be performed regularly, which is at least once a month. The more you do the exam, the more familiar you will become with your breasts. You get to know how they feel normally and the different areas around them. 

How To Perform A Self Breast Exam

How To Perform A Self Breast Exam

There are many ways to do a self breast exam. You can do it standing in front of a mirror, in the shower, or laying down on the bed. The first thing you should do is look at your breast for any abnormal variations in the shape, color, or size. Take note if one looks different than the other. Symptoms you should look for are bulging skin, redness or rashes, nipple position, and swelling. The next thing you should do is raise your arms over your head. You should look for any signs of nipple leakage. This may include watery, milky, or blood-like fluid. While you are in the shower, raise one hand and use the other hand to massage the breast tissue to look for any lumps or bumps. Lastly, perform the exam laying down. Using your right hand, examine the right breast. Then with your finger pads, smoothly touch your breast, keeping them together and moving in circular motions around the breast. You should cover the entire breast area as well as under each armpit. Use a medium to firm pressure. This will ensure you are getting accurate results. 

What To Do If You Find A Lump 

How To Perform A Self Breast Exam

If you do find something to be unusual with your breast, the most important thing to do is not to panic. It may not necessarily mean that something is wrong. Sometimes lumps are non-cancerous and other women just have lumpy breasts. You should call your doctor either way or your health care provider that has performed a breast exam on you before. They will be able to tell if this discovery is new or has always been there. They may even send you for further testing to be safe. Your doctor is going to ask about your family history, perform an exam, and maybe even complete an ultrasound. Mammography and ultrasounds are used to investigate breast tissue more thoroughly. Further testing includes an MRI or biopsy. When visiting the doctor, it is crucial that you receive answers, even if they are not what you want to hear. You should receive some sort of explanation for the lump. If you are not satisfied with the first visit, you have the ability to consult for a second opinion. Be safe ladies!     

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-Franki