Every year on October women around the world come together to raise awareness about breast cancer
October is breast cancer awareness month and every year, women come together to run a campaign, usually on social media, to raise awareness about it. This year’s theme as is trending on Twitter is #nobraday.
Other than being aware of the disease and leading a healthy lifestyle, there are other ways in which we can make sure our breasts stay healthy. One such way is by breast self-examination.
A breast self-examination describes the act of feeling your breasts and the area surrounding them for abnormalities. As is self-explanatory from the name, the exam is usually done on yourself.
However, it is important to note that even though breast self-examination keeps us up to date on any changes affecting our breasts, it cannot replace a regular physical exam by a doctor, mammography or MRI/CT scan test.
Here’s how to do a breast self-examination from home
After removing your clothes, look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and arms on hips. Look for distortion, swelling, discolouration, redness, soreness, rash.
Raise your hands above your head and repeat step 1.
Look for any unusual fluid (not breast milk) coming out out of one or two nipples. The discharge colour could vary.
Lie on your back and using your finger pads of your right hand examine your left breast. Make sure to cover the entire area by picking a starting and endpoint while moving your hand in a smooth circular motion.
Repeat the exam for your right breast.
While standing, perform step 4 making sure to examine the entire area of the breast.
What to do if you notice something unusual
- Call your doctor or visit your hospital
- If you happen to feel something, do not panic, most women some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts. But to be sure and safe, visit the hospital.