Cancer is a deadly disease, no second thoughts about that. And do you know that Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in Indian women? Lately, there has been a rising trend of breast cancer in younger females. Also, the death rates are really high if the disease isn’t diagnosed in its earlier stages.
As prevention of breast cancer is a difficult task, experts opine that breast cancer awareness is the way to go. The motto of breast cancer awareness is to educate females about self-examination of the breast. And also, for various reasons, it is not always possible to visit your Gynaecologist frequently. But you need to make sure that everything’s right with your body. So, there are methods of self-examination which you can try at home to ensure that you don’t have any breast disease, mainly cancer.
Here is how you can examine yourself in 3 simple steps for Breast Cancer at Home:
You don’t need extra time for this. Self-examination of breast can be done while in the shower or while putting on your clothes after a bath.
Step 1: Your upper body till the waist should be uncovered. Stand in front of a big mirror. Place your hands on the hip and straighten the shoulder. Now carefully look at your breasts for their usual shape, size and colour. Breasts are normally evenly shaped with no visible swelling or distortions.
Most women do not have both breasts of the same size and shape. So do not worry about that. What you should look for and report is bulging of skin, dimpling or puckering of skin. Check whether the nipple has changed position. If the nipple is pushed inwards or there is redness, soreness or swelling of the breast skin, consult a doctor.
Step 2: Next step is to raise your arms up and look for the same changes while still in front of the mirror. Now, have a look at both of your nipples and check whether there is some fluid oozing out. The fluid could be watery, milky, yellow or blood-stained. This is an alarming sign, as normally there is no discharge from the nipples.
Step 3: Use your right hand to feel the left breast and vice versa. Keep the finger flat and together and use the first few finger pads of your hands to feel the breast. With a firm and smooth touch, move the hand in circular motion covering a small portion of the breast at a time. Continue to examine in this fashion and cover entire breast from collar bone to top of abdomen and cleavage to armpits.
Finally, feel your both breasts in a similar way as above in a standing position. You may choose to do it as you shower if the wet and slippery texture of the skin comforts you.
Know that 'A stitch in time saves nine!' If you are in your thirties or forties, this is a must for you.
Self-examine your breast once a month, well after your periods are done. If you notice any changes, meet a gynaecologist soon.