In 2018, about 2,088,849 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed around the globe.
It is the most frequent tumor among women and even though breast cancer rates are higher in developed countries, they’re increasing in every region of the world. With an estimated one in eight women at risk of developing breast cancer throughout their lifetime. At Lookiero, we want to help change this.
Learn to stay safe with self-examination
There are things we can all do to help in this fight. Early detection saves lives. And a key path to early detection is regular self-examination. The more regularly we examine ourselves, the better we’ll get to know our own bodies. So the more likely we’ll be to spot any changes in tone, shape, size or texture.
But, it’s vital we don’t depend only on self-examination. You must get regular examinations by a doctor and if you feel anything that seems even remotely unusual, get an appointment immediately.
The most efficient technique to detect anomalies is mammography. This can detect issues up to two years before they become palpable. So make these a regular part of your health regime.
You should also have healthy life habits – eat healthy, exercise regularly and go for frequent medical check ups. Everything will help keep you healthy.
Perform a self-examination in five easy steps
Not everyone knows how to examine themselves. And that’s why we’re here. But it’s very simple and doesn’t take long at all.
It’s a two-stage process – observation and palpation. You need to perform it on the seventh or eight day of your menstrual cycle or, for the postmenopausal, set a day every month. Follow the steps and the images below.
Stand in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight, arms along your body and study your breasts for:
- Formation of dimples, wrinkles or lumps on the skin.
- Change in the position of a nipple or an inverted nipple (tucked in, not out).
- Redness, pain, rash or inflammation.
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.
Raise your arms and look for the same alterations
When in front of the mirror, see if any liquid comes from both nipples (transparent, milky, yellowish, or blood).
Lay down and touch your breasts by inverting your hands – right hand on the left breast and vice-versa.
- Make a circular movement, about the size of a coin.
- Check the breast from top to bottom and side to side: from the collarbone to the upper part of the abdomen, and from the armpit to the neckline.
- Move your fingers vertically, up and down. Check every inch of your breast, from the front to the rear. Palpate the skin and the superficial breast tissue. For the tissue in the middle, apply a small amount of pressure, for the tissue in the middle, a moderate amount of pressure and for the deepest tissue a very firm pressure. Once you get to the deep tissue, you should feel your rib cage.
Finally, palpate your breasts standing or sitting down. Most women prefer to perform this step in the shower as it’s easier to palpate your breasts when they’re wet and slippery. Check the breast completely with the same movements described in step 4.
Start your own regular self-examination habit during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and share this blog with as many friends and loved ones as possible. Together we’ll raise awareness of the importance of early detection through self-examination. We’ll keep each other safe. #KeepClose.