It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but October isn’t the only time you should be thinking about your breasts! Here are five reasons why you should regularly examine your breasts.
Determine How Your Breasts Normally Look and Feel
One of the best reasons to examine your breasts regularly is that you’ll see how your breasts have changed throughout your life. Performing a self-breast exam will help you to determine what’s normal for you right now.
You’ll soon determine how your breasts normally look and feel in your current everyday life, which will help you more when you notice anything concerning. Don’t be afraid to examine your breasts often so you can learn about your body and your personal health.
We recommend conducting a breast self-exam about once a month. Preferably several days after your period ends so that they aren’t as swollen and tender as they probably are on your period.
If you’re in the menopause or postmenopause stage, you can choose any day of the month that’s easiest for you to remember.
When self-examining your breasts, it’s normal to have different textures and feelings in different areas. For example, the area under your nipples can feel like large grains, while the upper part near your underarms has more noticeable lumps. When your breasts are normal, try to remember as much as you can about the different feelings in each area.
Become More Comfortable with Yourself
Being comfortable in your own body is key to your overall health as a woman. Many women struggle with not being comfortable in their own skin, and that’s OK! Regular self-exams will make you more relaxed with yourself, while regular mammograms will make you more comfortable with your doctor.
With regular clinical breast exams, mammograms, and monthly breast self-exams, you can detect any abnormalities as early as possible. The five-year relative survival rate is an incredible 100% when patients and doctors discover breast cancer early in its localized stage. Therefore, clinical breast exams are imperative to your health.
An OB/GYN performs a clinical examination during your annual check-up. Your doctor will ask you to move your arms in different positions to thoroughly analyze your breasts’ appearance and texture. Your obstetrician-gynecologist might also check your nipples for any fluid, but overall, what he or she will be really looking out for are suspicious lumps or enlarged lymph nodes.
The earlier you detect any abnormalities or conditions, the earlier you can start treatment if need be. Early treatment involves way less risk than receiving treatment at a later stage. Your body will thank you, and you’ll be healthier and happier.
Peace of Mind
You should examine your breasts to give yourself peace of mind.
In the case that your doctor does detect a lump, he or she will be able to provide you with an answer sooner rather than later on whether or not the lump is cancerous. Again, the earlier your doctor can detect an abnormality, the sooner you can get treated. Examine your breasts to have the peace of mind you deserve.
At the Trusted Women’s Health Center, your health is our mission. We would love to help you with any questions or concerns you have about your health, so give us a call!