According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, there were 2 million new cases of breast cancer in 2018 alone. To combat this ever-rising number, it is essential for women to increase their breast cancer awareness. This can help with early detection and successful treatment. With that in mind, it is time for you to know the signs of breast cancer.
Breast cancer awareness begins with knowing the signs
You must look out for the following signs of breast cancer:
- Lumps: This is perhaps the most well-known breast cancer symptom. A thickened section of the breast can indicate a lump. Sometimes, they are well-defined and easier to identify. Therefore, if an area of the breast feels different from its surrounding tissue, you must get it checked.
- Visible changes: Look out for changes in the appearance of the breasts, such as changes in size or shape. Dimpling of skin is also one of the breast cancer symptoms to watch for.
- Inverted nipples: Some people naturally have inverted nipples. However, if you did not always have them, and have noticed this change recently, consult a doctor.
- Textural changes: Scaling or flaking of skin is one of the signs of breast cancer in women. So is peeling of skin.
- Skin redness: Another sign, especially if the redness resembles an orange peel.
Breast Cancer Awareness Essentials: How to perform a breast self-exam (BSE)?
A BSE can help you examine your tissues for any signs of breast cancer. You should conduct this exam at the end of your period. Pregnant women can choose a specific day each month to conduct the BSE. The same goes for women with irregular periods. Do not perform the exam in the shower!
Part 1 of BSE: Touch
One of the best ways to identify lumps or malformations is through touch.
- To examine the outer right half of your breast, start by lying down on your left side. Place your right arm on your forehead with the palm facing up. Your breasts should feel flat on the chest.
- Use your finger pads (and not tips) to touch the area. Move them around in circles while varying the pressure levels to test different layers of tissue.
- Start these circles from the armpit. Move down to the bra line to be as thorough as possible.
- To check the inner half of the breast tissue, you can remove your right hand from your head. Place it at a 90-degree angle at your side. Ensure you are lying flat on your back.
- Start with the same circular motions at the nipples. Do not pinch or squeeze.
- Use vertical strip motions to check the remaining tissue area.
- Follow the same steps to check the other breast.
Part 2 of BSE: Sight
You will need to stand in front of a mirror to check your breasts. Ensure you view them from the front and both sides. The following are things you must check for:
- Shape: Compare your breasts. It is normal for one breast to be larger than the other. However, if there are sudden changes in the size, that is not good. Consult a doctor if this is the case.
- Skin: Check for any rashes, puckering, redness, or dimpling.
- Nipples: You should note changes in your nipples if any. Be aware of breast cancer symptoms like scaling, itchiness, inversion, swelling, or discharge.
- Vein patterns: Check for an increase in visible veins or their patterns.
When checking for these, you need to get into three different postures. These are:
- Arms at your sides
- Arms raised
- Arms at your hips and back bent forward
It may sound tedious to check so thoroughly. But this is the best way to detect early-stage breast cancer and prevent it from becoming fatal! So, do not skip these tests!If you are not sure whether you can conduct a BSE on your own, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor on MediBuddy. It is vital to understand the signs of breast cancer. With breast cancer awareness, you can ensure that you catch any odd symptoms quickly. As you age, your exams should become more frequent. They should also be regular if you have a history of cancer in your family. If you are obese or suffer from other breast ailments regularly, you may be susceptible to this disease. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Book a Health Check on MediBuddy' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']It’s never too early to take preventive measures. Screening aims to find breast cancers early, when they have the best chance of being cured. Book a cancer screening health check on MediBuddy today! [/av_promobox]