Hah! Got your attention! 😛
We’re about halfway through October and I must admit I’m feeling jaded about the whole pinkifying of October. Whilst pink just isn’t my color I’m also not feeling the whole commercialization of Breast Cancer Awareness month with the sale of pink and pink ribbon products where only a small portion of sales or profit gets donated to cancer research. Not saying all are bad – just saying its too commercialized.
However, personal sentiments aside I thought I had to do my bit too to spread the word. After all, beauty isn’t all just skincare and makeup – its also our health and you can’t have healthy women if you’re lazy, especially when its your boobies.
They are YOUR “girls” and you want them to be healthy too so if you have not already done so, now is a good time to start learning the how-tos of breast self-examination.
I had general health check up recently where the doctor showed me and reminded me again what one can do when examining your breast.You can either do it lying down in bed or in the shower but do it wherever you feel comfortable. Some general tips follow.
Here’s what I was told:-
- Lie down in a comfortable position and place your hand behind your head. You will examine the breast below the arm behind your head e.g. right hand = right breast and vice versa
- Use the finger tips of your other hand and gently palpate your breast without lifting your fingers from the nipple outwards. You want your fingers to cover as wide an area as possible to ensure you cover the whole breast area. Keep your touch light.
- Familiarize yourself with your breast so you notice any changes in it.
- Do not only examine your breast and nipple area, but also the area around your breast
- Include checking in and around the arm pit. Sometimes lumps can start at the nodules in the arm pit
- End by lightly squeezing the nipple and check if there is any discharge – no discharge is good.
You are recommended to do this breast self-examination monthly about 1 week after your period. Breasts are usually swollen and tender just before the onset of your period so any lumps will not be detectable. Besides breast cancer awareness isn’t just for October – its a monthly affair!
Do note that your breast is made out of fat and tissue and there are milk ducts behind all that skin, so do not expect to feel smoothness under all that. Its natural for breasts to have a slightly lumpy texture and some people might even have naturally lumpy breasts. This might make lumps in your breast more difficult to detect but if you’re familiar with what lumps you already have you will be able to detect any foreign or strange changes.
When in doubt always consult a doctor. They will be able to tell you if its natural fat or if its something they might want to check out. Also not all lumps are cancerous – many are benign.
On a personal note, I found it very helpful to consult a doctor the first time I was going to undertake the self-examination – this way you’d know how to do it and what you should look for and what passes for normal in your breast.
I’m not medically trained and this is only meant to be a guide and an awareness message. If you feel something isn’t right, always see a doctor – worrying won’t make it go away and you might be worrying about nothing!
So… touched yourself lately? 🙂