Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in both developed and developing countries. This does not mean that men are free of this disease; it can occur in men too, but it is still very rare.
Being that October is breast cancer awareness month; we thought it best to share the five simple steps of a self-breast exam that anyone can take at home right after a shower.
- Step 1: Start by standing in front of a mirror with your arms on the side of your hips and your shoulders straight. You should first and foremost check if your breasts are their usual shape, color and size. Also, be keen to note whether they are evenly shaped without any visible swelling or distortion.
- If there is some bulging, puckering, dimpling of the skin or, a nipple that is sore, red, changed position or swollen, it is advisable to bring this to the doctor’s attention as soon as possible.
- Step 2: Raise your arms above your head and look for the same changes as in Step 1.
- Step 3: While still standing in front of the mirror, check for any fluids coming out of any or both of your nipples. This fluid could either be milky, watery, yellowish or bloody. If you notice any of these, kindly contact your doctor for an immediate check-up.
- Step 4: Lie down on your bed and feel your breasts. Use the right hand to feel the left breast and the left hand to feel your right breast.
Using a smooth, firm touch, keep your fingers together and flat while using a circular motion from the top f your belly to your collarbone and from your cleavage to your armpit. Be sure to cover the entire breast.
- Step 5: Last but not least, feel your breasts while standing or sitting. Most women prefer to do this in the shower as it is easiest when the breasts are wet and slippery. Use the same hand movements in step four and ensure that you cover the entire breast.
We can win this fight against cancer, one day at a time. Let us start by creating awareness and spreading it to each and every individual we come across. Let us fight to save lives and eradicate cancer.