An important element of women’s health is regular breast cancer checks and screenings. To detect breast cancer as early as possible, it is important that you follow these three self-check steps. It is essential in order to detect and stop it before it spreads.
Self-Exam Once a Month
Adult women of all ages should be performing breast self-examinations at least once a month. Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are discovered by women who feel a lump during a self-exam and are essential component of women’s health. A mammogram can detect cancer long before you feel a lump, but breast self-exams will help you to feel familiar with their look and feel.
How to Perform a Self-Exam:
- In the Shower – Move around your entire breast in a circular motion, from the outside to the centre, using the pads of your fingers. Make sure to check the entire area, including the armpit. You are feeling for any lumps, thickening or hardened knots. If you notice any changes, make sure to see your general practitioner for an evaluation.
- In Front of a Mirror – With your arms at your sides, visually inspect your breasts. Then, raise your arms overhead and repeat. Finally, press your palms firmly onto your hips to flex your chest muscles. You are looking for any changes in contour, swelling, dimpling or changes to the nipples. Keep in mind, your left and right breasts will not match perfectly, they are going to be a little different.
- Lying Down – Lying down help to evenly spread out the breast tissue along the chest wall. Place a pillow beneath your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Then, using your left hand, perform the same movements as you would on your ‘in the shower’ self-exam. Swap, and using your right hand check your left breast. You will want to squeeze each nipple to check for discharge and lumps.
At Southport Metro Medical Centre, we specialise in women’s health. At our medical centre we have professional doctors that can help you with any medical concern you have. Southport Metro Medical Centre is located in the new Australia Fair Metro Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast.