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How To Check Breast Cancer At Home

Benign Breast Changes Due To Inflammation Infections Pregnancy And More

How to Check for Breast Cancer [Dr. Claudia]

There are other benign breast conditions that result from inflammation, infection, pregnancy, or simply other unusual changes. They can lead to the development of lumps, growths, irritated areas, unusual discharge, and/or pain. These conditions arent associated with increased risk of breast cancer. However, their symptoms often will lead you and your doctor to consider breast cancer as a possibility. Youll often need additional imaging tests, such as ultrasound and mammography, and perhaps even a biopsy, to make sure the condition is truly benign.

Many benign breast conditions are linked to inflammation, pain, and infection. There can be areas of redness and swelling involving the nipple, areola, and/or skin of the breast. Such symptoms are usually not a sign of breast cancer. However, any breast changes that persist over time should be checked by a breast specialist. Infections usually get better quickly and completely resolve after a couple weeks treatment with antibiotics.If you have symptoms of inflammation and infection that wont go away, you can ask your doctor to rule out a rare form of cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer . Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon but aggressive form of breast cancer that usually starts with redness and swelling in the breast rather than a distinct lump. Learn more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

How To Identify Breast Cancer In Male

Although this cancer is associated with women, men can also develop the breast cancer, but it is very rare. By identifying symptoms and performing a breast self-exam at home, you can recognize male breast cancer. Hence you can get a diagnosis and treatment for the disease on time. Most of the men who have breast cancer may develop it after they reach 65 years. If you have a liver disease like cirrhosis, then it increases female hormones in your system thereby increasing the risk of Breast cancer. Doctors also dont know the causes of Male Breast Cancer, then How to Identify the Breast Cancer in Men ? is now the common question that arises in our mind. The only solution is identifying the signs and symptoms of Male breast cancer or doing the self examination of breast.

Know more: Stages of breast cancer

You may notice the changes in your breast through some everyday activities such as during shower or while changing the clothes. Simply follow the self breast exam steps as mentioned above. Keeping an eye on your breasts and skin can alert you to perform a breast self-exam and see your doctor. If you have observed thickening of your breast tissue or found a lump or getting pain in your breast or inverting of the nipple, then you may have high chances of getting the disease. So, perform the breast check up frequently to detect the breast cancer early.

Also Check: How To Cure Breast Cancer

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Male Breast Cancer

If you notice any symptoms of breast cancer, call your provider right away. Its essential to see your provider for an evaluation as early as possible. Early detection and treatment can greatly improve the prognosis.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Many men dont think breast cancer can happen to them. So they may not recognize signs when they appear. If you think something isnt right with your chest tissue, see your provider for an evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment can have a significant impact on the long-term prognosis. Be honest with your provider about your symptoms and how long youve had them. If you have any risk factors for male breast cancer, talk to your provider about how you can reduce your risk.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/15/2021.

References

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How To Check Your Breasts At Home

Follow Jennifer’s step-by-step guide below …

  • Stand in front of a mirror, topless and in a good light. And start by looking at yourself.
  • Raise your arms up above your head and down again. Youre looking to see if your breasts match.
  • The key signs to look out for are new difference in the nipple position, nipple changes, rashes, or skin pulling back.
  • Then check your breasts using your fingers. Its important to feel with the flats of your fingers rather than the tips. If you examine with your fingertips, youll find most breasts are slightly lumpy but its lumpiness rather than a lump, and thats an important difference. Youre looking for a lump, with the flats of your fingers.
  • If you do it with your arm above your head, whether reclined on a bed or in the shower, it spreads the breast out so youre not feeling through so much depth.
  • Think of the spokes of a wheel where your nipple is at the centre. Feel up and down one spoke and then move around the breast moving up and down from the nipple to the outside of the breast methodically in a circle. Dont forget behind the nipple and under the armpit.
  • Why Should I Do Breast Self

    How to do Breast Cancer Self

    Monthly breast self-exams can help you detect changes that may be signs of infection or breast cancer . When breast cancer is detected early, the chances for survival are much better.

    Self-exams are important for breast health. But they should not replace exams and screening tests recommended by doctors. You should still see your primary care provider and/or gynecologist regularly.

    Recommended Reading: Is Breast Cancer Curable In The 3 Stage

    Stand Up Or Sit In A Straight Posture And Repeat Step 3

    Just as what you did in step 3, use firm, gentle pressure to feel your breasts on both sides with the exact circular pattern while standing or sitting on a chair. Remember, you need to maintain a straight posture.

    Look for any lumps, hardened knots, thickening of the skin, and other changes.

    Pro tip You might find it easier to combine steps 3 and 4 while taking a shower.

    How To Detect Cancer Early

    This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of medical research experience, Dr. Matsko was awarded the Pittsburgh Cornell University Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MD from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Matsko earned a Research Writing Certification from the American Medical Writers Association in 2016 and a Medical Writing & Editing Certification from the University of Chicago in 2017. This article has been viewed 56,712 times.

    If you’ve had family members deal with cancer or you’ve been diagnosed with a precancerous condition, it’s understandable that you might want to be alert for early signs of cancer. Since the signs, severity, and growth of cancer are completely unique to each individual, it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your body. You can also talk with your doctor about doing genetic testing to determine your risk for developing a specific cancer. Being aware of your risks and monitoring potential symptoms can increase your chances of survival if the cancer is detected early.

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    How To Check Yourself For Breast Cancer At Home

    Lumps, dimpling and more: What to look for during a breast self-exam, plus how often you should check.

    Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among women. Knowing how to check yourself for it can aid in early detection.

    About one in eight women in the US will develop breast cancer during her lifetime and aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Although death rates from breast cancer have thankfully declined over the last several years, it’s still important to check yourself for breast cancer.

    Because even in a world with high-tech doctor’s offices and plenty of ways to talk to a doctor online, taking care of yourself starts with you. By setting aside just five minutes every month to do a self exam, you can increase the likelihood of early detection if you do have cancer. The earlier you detect cancer, the earlier a doctor can treat it. And when it comes to breast cancer, early treatment is the key to a good prognosis.

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    Treating Breast Cancer In Men

    At-Home Test Can Help Determine Breast Cancer Risk

    Treatment for breast cancer in men largely depends on how far the cancer has spread.

    Most hospitals use multidisciplinary teams to treat men with breast cancer. These are teams of specialists who work together to make decisions about the best way to proceed with your treatment.

    Before visiting hospital to discuss your treatment options, you may find it useful to write a list of questions youd like to ask the specialist. For example, you could ask about the advantages and disadvantages of particular treatments.

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    What To Watch Out For

    When doing this self-exam, check to see if there is a change in the nipple or the skin around the nipple.

    Other things to keep in mind is if theres swelling near your armpit or any sort of lump near or around your breasts.

    While its normal for your breasts to feel a little painful during your menstrual cycle if your breasts hurt for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to get them checked out.

    In The Shower Or Bath

    It may be easier to check your breasts while youre in the shower or bath, as your hands are wet. This makes it easier to slide your hand over your breasts.

    An easy way to check your breasts is to:

  • Raise one arm above your head.
  • With the flat of your fingers press into your breast, feeling for any changes, softly at first and then more firmly.
  • Check the entire breast area, from your collarbone to under your breast, and from the side of your breast up into your armpit. A good way to do this is to move your hands over your breasts, in an up and down or in a circular motion. This is an easy way to make sure youve checked the whole area.
  • Repeat on the other breast
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    Is There A Particular Time Of The Month I Should Do Breast Self

    Women should do a breast self-exam once a month, every month. Women who are still menstruating should perform a breast self-exam after their period. Women who have stopped menstruating and those who have very irregular periods can pick a day each month. Choose a day that is consistent and easy to remember, like the first day of the month, the last day of the month or your favorite number.

    Early Signs Of Breast Cancer:

    How to Perform a Breast Self

    A few of the breast cancer signs are

    • Formation of Lump in breast or underarm Nothing can make it go away. This is most often the first symptom of breast cancer to manifest itself. In most cases, the doctor can detect a lump on a mammogram before you know it or feel it.
    • Collar or armpit swelling: This might indicate the proliferation of cancer to the lymph nodes. Swelling may begin before you notice the lump. Notify your doctor as soon as you notice it.
    • Pain and soreness despite the fact that lumps are rarely painful. Some may leave you with a prickly sensation.
    • Flat and depressed breast area It can be a consequence of a tumour that is not yet visible or felt.
    • Breast variations Breast variations like a change in the size, shape, appearance, or temperature of the breast
    • Nipple changes Certain changes in the breast that includes:
    • It squeezes inward

    Some other signs of breast cancer include:

    • Redness on the breast or nipples.
    • Alteration in the figure and position of the breast.
    • A marble-sized tough spot under the skin.

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    What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk

    If several members of your family have had breast or ovarian cancer, or one of your family members has a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, share this information with your doctor. Your doctor may refer you for genetic counseling. In men, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase the risk of breast cancer, high-grade prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

    If genetic testing shows that you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, your doctor will explain what you should do to find cancer early, if you get it.

    All men can lower their risk by keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

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    Common Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

    All women are at risk for developing this disease, but those who have a family history or certain factors may be more likely to develop it than others so learn about what these factors might be too! Symptoms include:

    • An asymmetry between one side and another .

    • A change in skin texture including dimpling, puckering, redness/swelling of skin surrounding the nipple, âorange peelâ appearance.

    • Nipple retraction when nipples appear pulled inward into the chest instead of sticking out normally.

    If you notice any of these changes then see your doctor immediately since they can lead to other complications.

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    Benign Breast Conditions Linked To A Moderate Increase In Breast Cancer Risk

    Benign breast conditions known as atypical hyperplasias are linked to a moderate increase in the lifetime risk of breast cancer. However, if you are diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in any given year remains low. The actual risk of developing breast cancer over a lifetime depends on other breast cancer risk factors as well as the age you were diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia.

    Hyperplasia means that there is excessive growth of breast cells that are also atypical, meaning they have some, but not all, of the features of carcinoma in situ . These cells arent cancer but they arent completely normal either. Sometimes they are also called neoplasias.

    Thanks to the increased use of mammography screening, atypical hyperplasias are being diagnosed more often than ever before. An abnormal finding through screening would lead to biopsy and examination of the tissue.

    If youre diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, keep in mind that these conditions are not breast cancer. They also dont mean you will develop breast cancer one day. Instead, these conditions suggest a potential for moderate increased risk in both breasts, not just the breast where the cell changes were found. They give you good reason to pay closer attention to your breast health and perhaps work with a breast specialist. However, most women with atypical hyperplasias will never get breast cancer.

    There are two main types of atypical hyperplasia:

    What Should You Be Feeling For In A Breast Check

    Self Breast Exam | Detecting Breast Cancer At Home

    A nice pair of healthy breasts come in all shapes and sizes: some are naturally lumpy, some more firm, others softer. The key, says Jennifer, is learning what is normal for you, so that when there is a change you notice it.

    You are looking for the following:

    1.A painless lump

    It can be anywhere, so check all around . With the glands under the arms, its important to try to pay close attention. We all have glands under our arms but an enlarged gland in the armpit can be a sign of cancer.

    ‘If its tender, its likely to be doing its usual job of fighting infection and isnt anything to worry about, but if its new, not tender and you can feel it for more than a week or so, please do seek advice.

    2. A change in breast size or shape

    If there is a change so they no longer match in shape, or the skin seems puckered or pulled in when you raise your arms that should be checked.

    3. Signs around the nipples

    If you see a rash on the nipple and you dont suffer from eczema, or have a red breast like mastitis but you arent breast feeding then you should seek advice. Finally, if you notice spontaneous discharge from the nipple that is clear or blood-stained this, too, can be a sign.

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    Coping With Breast Cancer

    If your results show you have breast cancer, you may feel a range of emotions such as shock, fear, disbelief, anger, guilt and sadness.

    You may find it hard to take in or believe what you are being told.

    Try not to keep your feelings to yourself or cope on your own. There are people who can support you, so dont be afraid to ask for help.

    How Often Should You Check Your Breasts

    Check your breasts as regularly as you like so you get to know what ‘normal’ is for you. “Do it as often as you need to ensure you feel confident that if there were any changes, you’d pick them up quickly,” says Dr Wild.

    However, Mr Dimitri J Hadjiminas, Consultant Breast & Endocrine Surgeon at The Harley Street Clinic, says you should check your breasts at least once a month and at the same time in your menstrual cycle.

    “Be mindful your breasts will change during your monthly cycle, pregnancy, and menopause,” adds Dr Wild.

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    What Are The Types Of Male Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer in men usually begins in the breast ducts. Ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Although men have milk ducts and glands that create milk, they dont work like the ducts and milk-producing glands in women.

    The types of male breast cancer include:

    • Invasive ductal carcinoma: Cancer begins in the breast ducts and spreads to other parts of the breast. Cancer cells may also spread to other areas of the body. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer in people regardless of gender.
    • Invasive lobular carcinoma: Cancer begins in the lobules . Lobular breast cancer can also spread to other parts of the body.
    • Ductal carcinoma in situ : Cancer cells grow in the lining of the breast ducts. They have not spread to other parts of the breast or the rest of the body. Ductal carcinoma in situ is uncommon in men.
    • Inflammatory breast cancer: Usually a type of invasive ductal carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer is very rare in men. The breast tissue is swollen and red. It feels warm to the touch, and the skin may be dimpled, but there is no lump.
    • Pagets disease of the nipple: Cancer cells grow in the ducts and spread to the nipple and the area around the nipple. Pagets disease of the nipple is also called Pagets disease of the breast or mammary Paget disease.

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