Cancer awareness: Screening for breast cancer at home
October 20, 2020
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. But the happy news is that with early detection, the chances of survival are higher. Regular screening tests help in detecting breast cancers at an early stage. We know prevention is better than cure. Living a healthy lifestyle keeps us away from many dangerous illnesses. However, early diagnosis is also as important as prevention and cure. What time is better than breast cancer awareness month to learn a few things about breast cancer screening at home.
Breast self-exam is a simple procedure that can be carried out at home. Follow the below procedure and make sure you are free from risks associated with breast cancer. It is advised to be naked during this examination.
Stand straight and keep your hands on your hip. Closely examine your breasts for any visible change in size, shape, colour, or any kind of swelling and distortion in the mirror. Make sure the nipples are not inverted(turned in). Visually analyze your breast from all angles. You must also check for the same with your hands raised.
Use your hands to feel your breasts. Use the three middle fingers of your right hand to check your left breast and left hand to check your right breast. It is important to press and look for lumps till the armpits and collarbone. Gently move your fingers from the outer area to the inner area of your breast. Without rushing. take enough time for this examination.
Now, move your fingers in a circular motion around the breasts. Start from the top of the breast and keep moving in small circles around the circumference of your breast. Continue this procedure until the centre of the nipple is reached.
Repeat the above two procedures after lying down on a plain surface. These examinations have to be done with hands down and raised. Make sure the entire area of your breasts is covered during this process.
Press or squeeze both your nipples separately to check for any unusual fluid discharge. This fluid can be watery, clean, yellowish, bloody, or even milky.
Anything unusual encountered during these examinations should be immediately reported to your doctor. If you are unable to take a self-exam at home, you can also undergo a clinical breast exam with an expert at the hospital. Although a breast screening test cannot prevent you from breast cancer, early diagnosis is undoubtedly the key to a fast and safe recovery. Get yourself detected at home before it is too late.