How To Check For Breast Cancer

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It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a woman, it is so incredibly important to be self-checking for breast cancer as often as possible.

As a mom, I am dedicated to my children’s health.  They always get their well-visits and I’m very on top of their vitamins, etc., but my health usually comes last.  And that just won’t do.

So if you’ve never checked for breast cancer – do it today!

How To Check For Breast Cancer

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation – women need to do a self-breast exam every month.  Below are their guidelines for checking your breasts each month.

  • Check in the shower – With the pads/flats of your 3 middle fingers, check the entire breast and armpit area pressing down with light, medium, and firm pressure. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or any other breast changes.
  • Check in front of a mirror – I think most of us check in the shower, but it is important to look at our breasts and look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Check when your arms are in the air and when your arms are at your side.  THEN puts your hands on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Again, look for any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples.  The more times you do this the more you’ll be familiar with what your breasts look like and will be more able to notice any subtle changes.
  • Check when lying down – When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

On top of a self-breast exam each month, it is important to consult with your doctor about any and all changes that you may experience.  As well, getting an annual mammogram can help detect a tumor before it can be felt.

According to Cancer.org 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.  So, it is important that you remain vigilant.

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