Breast Cancer And Education For Women
It has been found that each year more than a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer but the survival rates have thankfully increased. What has improved women’s chances of surviving breast cancer is education and knowledge. Women are more up to date with the importance of checking their breasts every month. Survival rates are increasing because they visit a GP immediately when they find something during their routine breast examination. This in turn allows a swift diagnosis and it gives the opportunity for early treatment.
Doctors advise that any examinations that are carried out at home do make an enormous difference to a women between living and dying when it comes to breast cancer. It is important that every woman does a monthly examination at home. Here is some information that is basic on how you can give yourself a breast examination and a bit of background on common symptoms of breast cancer.
Please note – this is a guide only. You should always seek professional medical advice for any symptoms you may be concerned about. A health care professional is the best person to provide a complete breast assessment.
How to do a breast examination on yourself
First things first; stand in front of a mirror and take a look at your breasts. To you they should appear as their normal size and shape. You should not see any kind of misshapen areas and the nipple area should look like it always does. You must lift your arms and then recheck your breasts in the mirror placing your arms above your head. Do the same steps as when you are in your natural posture.
- Look at your breasts in a mirror
- There should be no misshapen areas
- Nipples should appear as they always do
- Lift your arms above your head and check as above
All good? Now you will need to lie on your bed. You must tuck one arm behind your head and with the other hand begin to touch your breast. You are to start touching from around the nipple then continue to work the way out to include areas that are above and below your breast. Using a circular motion with your touch will enable you to feel anything unusual such as hard lumps.
- One arm behind your head
- Other hand touch your breast
- Start at the nipple, work your way outwards
- Use a circular motion – feel for hard lumps
- Swap Arms. Repeat for the other breast
As some women struggle with this particular part of the examination due to age etc; if you prefer, you can also do the same exam while in the shower with one arm above your head.
Possible causes for concern
During the examination you could encounter any of the following and it is important that you do make an appointment and see your doctor as soon as possible. There is no need to start panicking but it is wise to play it safe and have your concerns checked by your Doctor.
- Breast Changes: Do your breasts look like they are swollen? Do any parts of your breasts appear swollen or misshapen?
- Changes in skin: The skin can become dimpled, or a rash that is scaly.
- Lumps: One of the most common signs of breast cancer are lumps. Are there any painless hard lumps in your breast?
- Nipple changes: Your nipples may change appearance (often becoming inverted) and sometimes there will be discharge from the nipple.
Women need to check their breasts often to give themselves the best possible chance of successful treatment. So if you want to increase your chances of detecting any cancer early, you should establish a routine where you examine your breasts every month and always talk to your doctor if you notice any of the above changes or any other changes that concern you. The best way to stopping breast cancer is through early detection.