Pink October: How To Do A Self Breast Exam

Following on from my previous post, I believe every lady should make a conscious effort to perform regular self-breast checks. Ask your gynae to teach you the correct way to perform it. Being young does not exclude you from getting this disease so don’t sit back and make the fatal mistake of thinking that it could never happen to you. In fact, you should start performing self breast exams in your 20’s. My sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34. Thankfully she survived the ordeal and is cancer free now but I was told by her oncologist that it is getting more common for young women to be diagnosed with this cancer.

I have included a guide on how to perform your own check. Alternatively, you could get your partner to help you out. Let’s get started…

1. See

BC 12. Feel
Early signs of breast cancer are not necessary visible. Perform any of the following motions for the next two steps of the self breast exam.

BC 2

Step 1: Raise one arm
Raise one arm, and then use the other to feel around the following 3 areas:
a)      The breast
b)      The underarm
c)      The area between the breast leading to the underarm
Switch arm and repeat on the other side

Step 2: Lie Down
Lie down on a pillow propped under your right arm and shoulder. Use your left hand to feel around the following 3 areas:
a)      The breast
b)      The underarm
c)      The area between the breast leading to the underarm
Switch pillow to the other side, and repeat the motion on your left breast.

It is best to perform it monthly. You can even do it when you are showering or before you go to bed. It only takes a minute to perform these checks. These checks are best performed 7-10 days after your period. If you find any abnormalities or lumps, don’t panic! Make an appointment to get it checked. It’s good to know that 8 out of 10 lumps found are not cancerous.

Once you reach the age of 40, it is recommended that you have a mammography done every one to two years. Once you reach the age of 50,  it is recommended that you have mammography yearly. If you have a strong family history of the disease, make sure to tell your doctor. You are in charge of your health. Take responsibility.

(Image from National Cancer Society Malaysia)

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