Self–breast examination is a crucial step in early detection of breast cancer. It is a simple process that can be done at home, and it is essential for women to perform it regularly.
To perform a self-breast examination, follow these steps:
- Stand in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Look for any changes in the shape or size of your breasts, such as dimpling, puckering, or redness.
- Raise your arms above your head and look for the same changes.
- Lie down and place a pillow under your right shoulder. Use the pads of your fingers to gently feel your right breast, using small circular motions. Be sure to cover the entire breast, including the area under the armpit.
- Repeat the process on your left breast.
- Finally, feel for any lumps or thickening in your armpits, as this can also be a sign of breast cancer.
It is important to note that self-breast examination should not replace regular mammograms and clinical breast exams, as these tests can detect breast cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable. The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging recommend that women at average risk of breast cancer begin annual mammograms at 40’s and transition to every two years at age 55. Women who are at higher risk of breast cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease, may need to begin mammograms earlier and/or have them more frequently. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate screening schedule for you, taking into account factors such as family history, personal history, and any symptoms or abnormalities. It’s also essential to mention that mammograms are not recommended for women under the age of 40 as their breast tissue is typically too dense to produce clear images. In such cases, other imaging methods such as ultrasound or MRI may be used.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.