Ideally after the age of 40, women should look out for any subtle changes to their breasts to detect breast cancer early. Women should do a self-breast examination at regular intervals to locate issues that can help their doctor in quick diagnosis and treatment. A simple 4 step process is all you need before and during taking a shower:
1: While standing keep your shoulders straight and arms on your hips (moving upper body side by side).
Check Breasts For
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Change in size, shape, and color
- Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Inverted nipple or difference in shape as compared with the other.
- Any liquid discharge (watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood) from either or both nipples.
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
2: Still standing, raise both your arms and check for the same changes as step one (moving upper body side by side).
3: Lie down on you back on a mat or bed
- Using your right hand, feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast.
- Keep fingers together and use the top pads of the fingers to firmly feel the breasts.
- Use a circular motion while pressing, about the size of a quarter. Start from the nipple and move outwards in concentric circles. You can also choose to do it vertically.
- Ensure that you cover the entire breast by following a proper pattern from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
- Use pressure accordingly to check the top tissue, middle tissue and deep tissue (you will feel your ribcage).
4: Get into a shower and moisten your hands with soap. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 3 above.