Ladies – Make Sure You Are Doing Monthly Self Breast Exams – It Just Might Save Your Life

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash 

Breast cancer has taken the lives of our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends.

In fact, in 2020 alone, it’s expected nearly 43,000 women will die from breast cancer.

With frightening statistics like these – many women feel powerless and scared – but the good news is – each woman can add one thing to their monthly routine that may help spot the early signs of breast cancer.

Yes, we’re talking about monthly breast self-examinations.

While hopefully every woman is seeing their doctor each year for their physical and getting a mammogram if over the age of 40 – these actions are not enough.

In between visits – you should be monitoring your breasts at home and looking and feeling for any unusual lumps or changes.

Report any unsightly findings to your doctor immediately.

Wondering how often you need a breast self-exam?

Experts say monthly – preferably the week after your period.

You should begin with a visual examination of your breast and look for changes in size or symmetry.

Raise your hands above your head and place them at your hips – the goal is to see your breast from every angle.

After a visual check, lie down on your back on a flat surface and use the pads of your middle 3 fingers alternating different pressure levels to feel the depth of your breast.

Using different levels of pressure helps you feel the surface and deeper areas of your breast.

BreastCancer.Org has these additional helpful tips for your exam:

“Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you’ve reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.”

Remember ladies, nobody knows their own body better than you.

In fact, many women find out early on they have lumps in their breast from doing a breast self-examination at home – and it has saved their lives.

Early detection really is key.

If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, or a certain ethnicity like Ashkenazi Jewish, your doctor will likely recommend you get a mammogram before you turn 40.

And remember – while self-exams are helpful, they should not replace a mammogram or your yearly doctor visits.

Breast cancer is a horrible and wicked disease, but taking a few moments each month for a breast self-examination can help flag any abnormalities – and just might save your life.

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