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How To Examine Breast Cancer At Home

What To Do If You Find A Lump

How to Check for Breast Cancer [Dr. Claudia]

Dont panic if you think you feel a lump in your breast. Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be benign . There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition, or an injury.

Dont hesitate to call your doctor if youve noticed a lump or other breast change that is new and worrisome. This is especially true for changes that last more than one full menstrual cycle or seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way. If you menstruate, you may want to wait until after your period to see if the lump or other breast change disappears on its own before calling your doctor. The best healthcare provider to call would be one who knows you and has done a breast exam on you before for example, your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or a nurse practitioner who works with your gynecologist or primary care doctor.

Make sure you get answers. Its important that your doctor gives you an explanation of the cause of the lump or other breast change and, if necessary, a plan for monitoring it or treating it. If youre not comfortable with the advice of the first doctor you see, dont hesitate to get a second opinion.

How To Perform A Breast Cancer Self

1. Simply look at your breasts in the mirror. Look from different angles, with your arms down and then raised.

What you should see:

  • Breasts that are smooth and don’t show any visible signs of distortion
  • The usual size, shape and color of your breasts

Signs to look out for:

  • Changes in skin texture, such as dimpling, puckering or bulging
  • Changes in the position of either nipple
  • Any redness, splotches or other signs of a rash
  • Abnormal swelling
  • Any signs of fluid coming from either nipple

2. Feel your breasts while lying down, and then again while standing up. Using the pads of your first two or three fingers, make circular motions about the size of a quarter along the entire surface of your breasts and near your armpit. Use light, medium and firm pressure to feel the different layers of tissue.

What you should feel:

  • The usual consistency of your breasts
  • Whatever is “normal” in the different regions of your breasts

Signs to look out for:

  • Lumps or hard masses in your breast tissue
  • Thickening or fullness that feels different than the surrounding tissue
  • Unusual warmth
  • A nipple that has become inverted

Self-breast exams aren’t a surefire way to detect breast cancer — only medical testing, such as mammograms, can do that — but they can help you become more familiar with your breasts and, as such, more aware of any changes.

Easy Steps To Do Your Diy Breast Self

Doing a DIY breast self-check every month helps you to understand and be familiar with the condition of your breast

Step 1: Look

Put your hands on your hips and look out for changes in breast shape, skin surface and nipple abnormalities. Raise your arms above your head to look for changes on the underside of your breast.

Step 2: Touch

Touch and feel your breast using your middle 3 fingers, moving in a circular motion from outer area towards the nipple. Gently squeeze your nipple to check for any discharge.

Repeat this step for your other breast

Step 3: Touch

Check for lumps by examining your entire breast from your armpit to your cleavage with different pressure.

Repeat this step for your other breast.

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How Do You Perform A Breast Self

Performing a self-exam can help you understand what is normal for you so you can more easily detect when something is out of the ordinary. To perform a breast self-exam, follow these steps:

Step 1: Observe

The first part is visual examination, or to simply observe. Stand shirtless in front of the mirror and check the breast for dimpling, puckering, discoloration, and any other symptoms or noticeable changes. Inspect your breasts while you are standing straight, with arms raised above your head, and afterward, with your hands on your hips. Turn from side to side and bend forward in each position to check thoroughly.

Step 2: Feel for lumps with your three middle fingers

After observation, feel for changes using the finger pads of the three middle fingers. Use the opposite hand from the breast you are examining this means feeling the right breast with your left hand, and vice versa. Check for lumps and thickening in each breast, including the area below the collarbone and under the armpit.

Step 3: Feel for lumps with an up-and-down motion

Then, support a breast with one hand and use the other hand to feel for any lumps using an up-and-down motion. Cover the entire breast area.

Step 4: Repeat up-and-down motion for both breasts

Repeat the process for the other breast.

Step 5: Lie down and feel for lumps with circular or up-and-down motions

“Having larger breasts may make it take longer to examine the breast, but the techniques and concept are the same,” says Abe.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Five Ways To Screen For Breast Cancer At Home

How To Do A Breast Exam And What To Look For

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which according to the Center for Disease Control , is the most common cancer found in women. One of the easiest ways to promote early detection, and therefore increase the chance of a positive outcome after diagnosis, is the self-exam. Self-exams should be completed on a regular basis, usually once a month, and should be part of overall breast care, including regularly scheduled doctor examinations as well as mammograms when applicable.

So, where do you start when screening at home? Its important to establish a baseline of what is normal. This will help you recognize if there is a change or something that needs to be investigated further. For your self-exam, divide the breast into four sections: Upper/Outer , Upper/Inner, Lower/Outer and Lower/Inner. Keep an exam journal so you can remind yourself what is normal for you, and to help you identify any changes. Its also important to know what you are looking for. During your at-home self-exam, make sure to look at the size and shape of your breasts and check for discoloration, dimpling or puckering, bulging, redness or rash, pain, changes in texture, lumps or hardness, nipple discharge or any other discrepancies that youre observing from your established baseline. Here are five ways to screen and complete a self-exam at home. You may also want to view illustrations which are available at BreastCancer.org.

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Can I Rely On Breast Self

Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but dont panic 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

Diagnosis Of Benign Breast Conditions

The tests and procedures used to diagnose a benign breast condition are often the same as those used to diagnose breast cancer. The goals of diagnosis are to:

  • make sure that the growth or other change detected is really benign
  • determine whether the condition is associated with any increase in cancer risk

Procedures could include:

Your testing plan will depend on your symptoms and what type of benign breast condition is suspected. Your doctor might not be able to tell you much until the test results come back. Waiting is hard, but remember that benign conditions are more common than breast cancer.

In most cases, todays imaging techniques are advanced enough to tell the difference between a benign breast condition and cancer, notes Alan Stolier, M.D., a surgical breast oncologist with St. Charles Surgical Hospital and the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans. If anything about the imaging is suspicious, we will go a step further with biopsy, he says. If we dont recommend anything else be done, we have a high level of confidence it is benign.

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What Happens If I Find A Lump

“If a person feels a new lump in their breasts, they should absolutely inform their physician,” says Fishman. If you discover some symptoms, breast changes that concern you, or changes that persist after your menstrual cycle, see a doctor for evaluation.

Younger women are more likely to have dense breasts, the appearance of having more dense tissue than fatty tissue in the breast when viewed on a mammogram. This is a risk factor for breast cancer because dense tissue can hide cancers. The difference between a lump and having dense breasts is that dense breast tissue will often feel rubbery and usually without discrete edges around, says Abe.

“Not all breast lumps are indicative of breast cancer,” says Fishman. Most lumps are usually not cancer, and the most common benign and non-cancerous lumps are cysts and fibroadenomas.

According to Abe, “cancerous lumps are rarely painful, while benign, non-cancerous lumps can be painful. Still, not all lumps feel the same, so notify your doctor of any breast mass that doesn’t feel normal. If you find a lump, the next step is to get a mammogram or ultrasound to better characterize it, she says.

What Is A Breast Self

Breast Self-Examination (It Can Save Your Life)

A breast self-examination involves checking your breasts for lumps or changes. Many breast problems are first discovered by women themselves, often by chance. Breast lumps can be non-cancerous or cancerous .

Breast cancer can occur at any age, though it is most common in women older than 50. Lumps or changes also may be signs of other breast conditions, such as mastitis or a fibroadenoma.

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care does not recommend breast self-examinations for women ages 40 to 74 who do not have a higher risk of breast cancer.footnote 1 Studies show that self-examinations don’t save women’s lives and that they can lead to unneeded tests, such as biopsies. It is a good idea to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel and to talk to your doctor about any changes.

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Why Know About Breast Cancer

Awareness of the disease, its symptoms and diagnostic methods significantly increase the success of treatment: in 95% of cases of breast cancer at stage I, it completely curable. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.

More than 5 thousand Ukrainians die from this type of cancer every year, among whom, by the way, there are also men. For every 10 cases of breast cancer diagnostics, 3 are fatal, says Igor Sorokin, this is primarily due to the late detection of the disease in almost a quarter of cases, breast cancer is diagnosed at late stages, respectively, and the chances of recovery are reduced by exactly half.

Such statistics make mammary cancer one of the most socially significant oncological diseases, and its early detection is the main task of all medical and social workers.

Next Up Lie Down In Bed And Feel Your Breast

Lying down to feel your breast is advised because the breast tissue is evenly spread out along the chest wall.

Start by placing a pillow under the right shoulder just behind the head. Now use your left hand, and keeping a firm pressure, cover the entire area to feel for anything suspicious.

We recommend following a circular pattern, large enough to cover one-quarter of your breast area at a time. Be sure to check the entire breast tissue using firm and gentle pressure.

Pro tip Apply enough pressure so that youre able to reach deep breast tissue until you feel the ribcage. Repeat the same process on the other side.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: As Self

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 5 steps to self-examine your breasts at home

The month of October is observed as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month during which the people spread awareness about this type of cancer and how early diagnosis can help save life of patient. A silent but potentially fatal disease can affect both women and men, though cases in men account for 1 per cent of all cases, according to experts. Its cell can develop in any part of the breast leading to ductal cancer, lobular cancer, phyllodes tumour, angiosarcoma among others. The common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass on the breast. As self-examination is an important screening tool for women, it even keep the chances of getting them affected by breast cancer minimal.

All women should regularly perform breast self-exams as part of their overall breast cancer screening strategy. This is why we have enlisted 5 ways how you can self-examine your breasts to find out if there are lumps or not.

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Step 1: Look at the breasts in the mirror with shoulders straight and arms on hips. Look for one or more changes mentioned above.

Step 2: Raise your arms and look for skin changes such as skin dimpling, skin ulceration or elevation.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Step 5: Feel your breasts while standing or sitting. The easiest way to feel your breasts is when skin is wet and slippery.

The Month Of October Is Observed As Breast Cancer Awareness Month This Month

Breast Cancer: How can you self exam at home?

Breast cancer awareness month: Breast self-examination can help in early detection

Breast self-examination is the examination of one’s own breast by the person. Overall, 40% of women detect their lumps themselves. Regular self-examination is likely to detect breast lumps early. This may enable women to report to doctors with earlier stage of disease. There is no firm guideline for the exact age for starting BSE. Women should preferably start BSE at the age of 20 years, but can start earlier if desired.

BSE should be done once a month. It should preferably 2-3 days after the end of monthy period. It is best to keep the same day post period for examination which means if you are doing on the 3rd day after completion of periods, keep it as the 3rd day post periods for all your future monthly examinations. The firmness of breast changes in relation of the menstrual cycle. For post-menopausal females, any date of the month can be chosen, repeated every month.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Increase the risk development of breast cancer:

  • over 60 years of age,
  • obesity,
  • hormone therapy in postmenopausal women,
  • family history of breast cancer.

Reduce risk development of breast cancer

  • childbirth up to 25 years of age and long-term breastfeeding,
  • refusal from prolonged use of hormones,
  • regular physical activity,
  • healthy lifestyle.

How To Suspect Breast Cancer

Most often, breast cancer begins to manifest itself as a painless lumps in the chest In such cases, you should not delay and consult a mammologist or gynecologist as soon as possible, even if you do not feel any pain.

There are many reasons for the formation of lumps in the chest, up to 90% of neoplasms is not cancerous. These can be fibroadenomas, cysts, and inflammatory processes. But in any case, seeking advice at the first sign contributes to more successful treatment.

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Know What Is Normal For You

It’s important to know what is normal for you. Your breasts will go through many normal changes during your life. For example, they are affected by changes in your hormones during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy and breast-feeding and menopause.

  • Your menstrual cycle: Each month, when you are having periods, your breasts often change. They can become bigger, tender and lumpy usually before a period starts and return to normal once the period is over. Some women, however, may have tender, lumpy breasts throughout their cycle.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: The changes that occur during your menstrual cycle continue during pregnancy. While breast-feeding, your breasts may be very enlarged, firm and tender this is normal at this time. However, you should continue to check your breasts and discuss any unusual changes with your GP.
  • Menopause: After the menopause your breasts will feel softer and they may get bigger or smaller. If there is a change in only one breast, you should discuss this with your doctor. HRT hormone replacement therapy may cause your breasts to feel firmer and quite tender.

In The Shower Or Bath

How to do a self-breast examination at home?

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

    Some benign breast conditions are associated with a slight increase in the risk of developing breast cancer. All of these conditions involve an overgrowth of breast cells that closely resemble normal, healthy cells. The cells look fairly typical and are not abnormal .

    The increase in cancer risk is so slight that it generally doesnt change recommendations about screening practices or follow-up. Your doctor may encourage you to pay closer attention to getting annual mammograms and adopting healthy behaviors that lower risk, such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol. However, your breast cancer risk is still considered to be similar to that of women at average risk.

    In addition, your individual situation will be taken into account. You and your doctor can discuss your benign diagnosis in relation to any other well-defined risk factors you may have, such as family history or personal medical history. You can then decide if you need a different follow-up plan.

    The following benign conditions are linked to a slight increase in cancer risk. Most would be diagnosed after youve had a biopsy of a suspicious area that showed up on an imaging study. Your doctor often will classify the condition based on the appearance of breast tissue under a microscope.

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