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How To Detect Breast Cancer At Home

Why Should I Do A Breast Cancer Self

Self Breast Exam | Detecting Breast Cancer At Home

To be clear, a self-exam can’t diagnose you with breast cancer — only doctors can do that through a variety of tests, which may include a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI or breast tissue biopsy.

Performing self-exams can, however, help you become familiar with your breasts so that you’re more likely to notice subtle changes. You should become familiar with the size, shape, symmetry , coloration and texture of your breasts.

Knowing how your breasts change in relation to your menstrual cycle and ovulation can also help you avoid false warning signs.

Who Is Most Likely To Have Dense Breasts

Higher mammographic breast density is associated with postmenopausal use of hormone replacement therapy and low body mass index, according to the NCI. Studies have also shown that it’s commonly associated with genetics. A nearly two-decades-old study of twins published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that mammographic breast density at a given age has high heritability.

Another important factor is age. Susan Brown, MS, RN, and director of the health information center at Susan Komen tells Health that findings of a high breast density is more common for those ages 44 and younger who have gotten mammograms . “As one ages, their breast density is lowered,” she says. However, those who are post-menopausal and taking estrogen and progestin have also been found to be at increased risk, although an older study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that only taking estrogen may not be associated with increased breast density.

How To Detect Breast Cancer At Home

Detecting breast cancer is possible if there is a regular breast examination done by a woman. It is a simple process involving touching, looking for certain changes and if found, getting it checked by your doctor.

Checking your breasts does not involve special techniques and can be done in a few minutes. Press lightly and feel the whole breast area, including the armpits and upper chest to identify any lumps, skin inflammation, cracking or puckering of skin on the breasts.

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What Should I Do If I Find A Lump

Donât panic. It could be many things other than cancer. But do check in with your doctorâs office if you notice any new breast changes, such as:

  • An area that is different from any other area on either breast
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that lasts through your menstrual cycle
  • A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
  • A mass or lump
  • A marble-like area under the skin
  • A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple
  • Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
  • Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple

Breast Implants May Make Cancer Harder To Detect

How To Detect Breast Cancer As earlier Stage By Self ...

Breast implants may make it more difficult to detect breast cancer at an early stage, a new analysis suggests.

In the study of women with breast cancer, those with breast implants tended to be diagnosed at a later stage than women without implants.

However, the findings are preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm them.

Breast implants themselves are not thought to increase the risk of breast cancer, but there has been concern that implants may impair doctorsâ ability to view breast tissue with mammograms. Earlier studies looking at this issue have had mixed results.

The new study analyzed information from 12 previous studies involving women with breast cancer who either did have or did not have breast implants. Together, these studies included women living in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Women with breast implants were 26 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a late stage, compared to women without breast implants. However, this finding did not quite rise to the level of âsignificant,â meaning it could have been due to chance.

In a separate analysis of an additional five studies of women with breast cancer, women with implants were 38 percent more likely to die of the disease than women without implants.

This second finding should also be interpreted with caution, the researchers said, because some of the studies didnât take into account factors that could influence breast cancer risk, such as obesity.

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A breast surgeon discusses what patients and their caregivers should know before breastcancer surgery. When preparing for breastcancer surgery, patients can take certain steps and engage in conversations with their care team that will make the process smoother and more bearable,

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Know Your Risks And Family History

â How To Detect Breast Cancer As earlier Stage By Self Examination at Home

To assess your risk of breast cancer, its essential to know your familys medical history. Family history is split into two categories, first-degree relatives and second-degree relatives .

Women with a history of breast cancer in their family are at a much higher risk of developing the disease. Some studies suggest that your chances may double if a first-degree relative has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Be sure to communicate with your practitioner about any family history of breast cancer to understand generational risks that may exist. Doctors can also help you develop a screening plan and recommend healthy lifestyle tips.

Also Check: What Are The Symptoms Of Stage 1 Breast Cancer

How To Check Your Breasts

Theres no special way to check your breasts and you do not need any training.

Checking your breasts is as easy as TLC:

  • Touch your breasts: can you feel anything new or unusual?
  • Look for changes: does anything look different to you?
  • Check any new or unusual changes with a GP

Everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes.

Get used to checking regularly and be aware of anything thats new or different for you.

Check your whole breast area, including up to your collarbone and armpits.

How Do I Spot The Symptoms

It is important to know the symptoms of breast implant associated cancer. The most common symptom is swelling of a breast caused by fluid build-up around the implant, but in some cases it may appear as a lump in the breast or armpit.

As this is a rare disease, changes in your breast are unlikely to be breast implant associated cancer. For example, swelling immediately after your breast implant surgery is normal. But you should raise all concerns with your surgeon, including the possibility of breast implant associated cancer. If the surgeon or clinic which performed your original implant operation is no longer available, you should see your GP for referral to another surgeon.

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Self Breast Exam Tips

Its best to perform your monthly self breast exam a few days after your period ends and breast swelling and tenderness has reduced. A lump associated with breast cancer is often painless, hard and immobile, although this may not always be the case depending on its location in the breast and cellular makeup. If you find a lump, dont panic most breast lumps are not cancerous. Still, be sure to consult a medical professional if you notice a breast lump or any visible abnormalities in your breasts.

Moffitt Cancer Centers breast clinic provides breast cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment and supportive care, all in one location. To visit Moffitt with or without a referral, call or complete a new patient registration form online.

  • BROWSE

Breast Cancer: Self Examination

Breast Cancer Early Detection

You can start looking for any breast abnormalities starting with the visual examination of the breasts, by keeping your hands at the side in a neutral position in front of the mirror. Few of the symptoms may include:

  • Change in shape and size of either of the breasts

  • Dimpling or puckering of the nipple or skin

  • Persistent rash or change in skin around the nipple

  • Nipple retraction or inversion

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How Does One Properly Screen For Breast Cancer When You Have Dense Breast Tissue

Brown mentions that this is still an area of research. “There are no guidelines on what to do with the information on increased breast density. There are currently studies looking at whether 3-D mammography is better than 2-D in saving lives. But in most cases, ultrasound and breast MRI are recommended to further assess the situation,” she explains. Dr. Johnson advises talking with your physician about additional imaging, perhaps especially if there’s a family history of cancer.

Further, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that “screening mammography remains the most useful tool for breast cancer detection and consistently has demonstrated a reduction in breast cancer mortality.”

Dr. Johnson also reminds us of the bottom line, which is that early detection matters. While several guideline groups mention that the decision to start getting regular mammograms between the ages of 40 to 49 is a personal choice, Dr. Johnson advises making an appointment, especially if you are at an increased risk.

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While mammograms and physical exams have long been suggested options to help women detect breast cancer, people with a family history of the disease may benefit from more proactive choices. Ken Onel, senior vice president of translational genetics at Sema4, spoke with Outsourcing-Pharma about the powerful tools and technologies available to help patients, caregivers and researchers identify and fight disease.

OSP: Could you please share an overview of how breast cancer detection and diagnostic testing has evolved in recent years?

KO: Advances in imaging, such as tomosynthesis, have helped clinicians detect and diagnose breast cancer earlier than with traditional mammography alone. The recognition that testing for hereditary cancer can save lives and even change the health trajectory of families has led many primary care providers and obstetrician-gynecologists to perform tests to identify women at high risk for cancer. breast .

As a result, these women can be followed closely so that, if they do develop breast cancer, it can be detected early when it is most curable.

OSP: Specifically, how has genetic testing helped detect and prevent CB in patients at risk?

Some women also choose to take certain medications or undergo harm reduction procedures, such as prophylactic mastectomies, to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

OSP: Could you please explain why men should not be excluded from this conversation?

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3. Get to know your breasts a little bit better.

While the American Cancer Society states on its website that research has not shown a clear benefit of regular physical breast exams, as they can lead to false-positive test results, doctors stress women should be familiar with their breasts. Funk believes self-exams continue to be a womans greatest tool. Here’s how to do it.

Ive seen far too many women with a self-detected lump or an intuition that things werent right And sure enough, cancer, Funk said. I actually think if we all did a good breast self-exam consistently, wed find more tumors at smaller sizes.

If you feel something thats hard and unmalleable, alert your doctor. Also call your doctor if you notice dimpling, discoloration of your nipples or any other changes in your breast from one month to the next.

Breast cancer in younger women tends to be more aggressive, Funk noted, which is why early detection is especially vital for those under 40.

You know your body better than anyone. If something feels off, investigate it.

Trish Gauthier

4. Get a breast exam annually.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology, clinical breast exams may be offered every one to three years for women 25-39 years old. But Brem recommends women receive a breast exam at each of their annual wellness exams.

“What’s the downside?” she said. “Here’s an opportunity that’s free and has no associated risk.”

5. Stay active and avoid alcohol.

Some Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

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The following are some of the known risk factors for breast cancer. However, most cases of breast cancer cannot be linked to a specific cause. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk.

Age. The chance of getting breast cancer increases with age. Nearly 80 percent of breast cancers are found in those over the age of 50.

Personal history of breast cancer. An individual who has had breast cancer in one breast is at an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.

Family history of breast cancer. A higher risk of breast cancer is associated with having an immediate relative with breast cancer, especially at a young age . Having other relatives with breast cancer may also raise the risk.

Genetic factors. Certain genetic mutations, including changes to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, are associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer at some point. Other gene changes may raise breast cancer risk as well. For more information, ask your doctor about comprehensive biomarker testing, which may include genetic testing for inherited cancer risk.

Childbearing and menstrual history. Research suggests a link between reproductive and menstrual history and the risk of breast cancer. Higher risk factors include:

  • Early onset menstruation
  • Late onset menopause
  • Never having children, childbirth later in life or not breastfeeding

Hormone use. Menopausal hormone therapy and certain types of birth control may have hormones that are risk factors for breast cancer.

Also Check: What Is Stage 2 Cancer Of The Breast

Ways To Detect Breast Cancer At Home: 8 Important Symptoms You Should Know

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, in India, every 4 minutes.

One woman dies of breast cancer, in India, every 8 minutes.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in India.

With roughly one in eight women developing breast cancer, there is a possibility that nearly everyone is affected by this disease, be it a personal diagnosis or of a loved one. However, we can combat this with early detection. For early treatment, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of breast cancer – with preliminary checks at home by way of Breast Self-Examination.

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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