COURIER L 54 IFE, OCT. 11-17, 2019
Women should routinely examine and massage their breasts to detect any abnormalities.
In addition to scheduling clinical
screenings and mammograms,
women should routinely examine
and massage their breasts to detect
any abnormalities. These breast selfexams
can be an important part of
early breast cancer detection.
Although many women are aware
that they should become familiar
with their bodies, many are unsure
about just how frequently they should
conduct breast examinations.
Experts at Johns Hopkins
Medical center advise adult
women of all ages to perform
self-examinations at least
once a month. That’s because
40 percent of diagnosed breast
cancers are first detected by
women who feel a lump. Establishing
a regular breast
self-exam schedule is very
Begin by looking at the breasts in a
mirror. Note the size and appearance
of the breasts, and pay attention to any
changes that are normal parts of hormonal
changes associated with menstruation.
Breasts should be evenly
shaped without distortion or swelling.
Changes that should cause concern
include dimpling, puckering, or bulging
of the skin. Inverted nipples or
nipples that have changed position, as
well as any rash or redness, should be
noted. In addition, the same examination
should be done with arms raised
over the head.
The breasts should be felt while
both lying down and standing up. Use
the right hand to manipulate the left
breast and vice versa. Use a firm touch
with the first few fingers of the hand.
Cover the entire breast in circular motions.
The pattern taken doesn’t matter
so long as it covers the entire breast.
All tissue, from the front to the back
of the breast, should be felt.
The same pattern and procedure
should be conducted while
standing up. Many women find this
easiest to do while in the shower.
It is important not to panic
if something is detected. Not
every lump is breast cancer.
And bumps may actually be
normal parts of the breast, as
certain areas can feel different than
others. But bring any concerns to the
attention of your doctor.
Breast self-exams are a healthy
habit to adopt. When used in conjunction
with regular medical care and
mammography, self-exams can be yet
another tool in helping to detect breast
abnormalities. Doctors and nurses will
use similar breast examination techniques
during routine examinations.
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