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Self Examination of Breast


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  1. #1
    PriyagauthamH's Avatar
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    Self Examination of Breast

    Hi friends ,
    I have compiled few articles on importance of self examining the breast and how to do it correctly and most importantly the signs and symptoms to look for .....
    I have used articles from national breast cancer foundation and john hopkins medicine website .....
    For better understanding have posted both the examination articles .....

    Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical center states,

    “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”


    What is a breast self-examination (BSE)?

    BSE is a procedure a woman can do to physically and visually examine her breasts and underarm areas for changes. If you choose to do BSE, it should not be used in place of, but in addition to, clinical breast examination (performed by a health care provider every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women ages 40 and older) and mammography.

    Why should BSE be done?


    • know what’s normal for you
    • look at your breasts and feel them
    • know what changes to look for
    • report any changes without delay



    When should BSEs be done?

    By doing BSEs regularly, you get to know how your breasts normally feel and look so that you are able to detect any changes more easily.
    Women can begin practicing BSE at about age 20 and continue the practice throughout their lives—even during pregnancy and after menopause.
    Breast self-examination can be performed every month. Become familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel so that you may notice any change from what is normal for you:

    • If you still menstruate, the best time to do BSE is when your breasts are least likely to be tender or swollen, such as a few days after your period ends.
    • If you no longer menstruate, pick a certain day—such as the first day of each month—to remind yourself to do BSE.
    • If you are taking hormones, talk with your health care provider about when to do BSE.

    Changes to look for

    Check with your health care provider if you find any change in your breast(s) that causes you concern. Changes in your breasts may include:


      • a change in the size, outline or shape of your breast, especially when you move your arm or lift your breast
      • a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling
      • any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it’s a new pain and doesn’t go away
      • a new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same area on the other side
      • nipple discharge that's not milky
      • bleeding from your nipple
      • a moist, red area on your nipple that doesn’t heal easily
      • any change in nipple position, such as your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
      • a rash on or around your nipple

    How to do BSE

    1. Stand in front of a mirror that is large enough for you to see your breasts clearly. Check each breast for anything unusual. Check the skin for puckering, dimpling, or scaliness. Look for a discharge from the nipples.


    2. Watching closely in the mirror, clasp your hands behind your head and press your hands forward.


    3. Next, press your hands firmly on your hips and bend slightly toward the mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward.


    Do steps 2 and 3 to check for any change in the shape or contour of your breasts. As you do these steps, you should feel your chest muscles tighten.
    4. Gently squeeze each nipple and look for a discharge.


    5. The breasts are best examined while lying down because it spreads the breast tissue evenly over the chest. Lie flat on your back, with one arm over your head and a pillow or folded towel under the shoulder. This position flattens the breast and makes it easier to check.


    Use the pads of the fingers of your other hand to check the breast and the surrounding area firmly, carefully, and thoroughly. Some women like to use lotion or powder to help their fingers glide easily over the skin. Feel for any unusual lump or mass under the skin. Feel the tissue by pressing your fingers in small, overlapping areas about the size of a dime. To be sure you cover the whole breast, take your time and follow a definite pattern: lines, circles, or wedges.


    Some research suggests that many women do BSE more thoroughly when they use a pattern of up-and-down lines or strips. Other women feel more comfortable with other patterns. The important thing is to cover the whole breast and pay special attention to the area between the breast and the underarm, including the underarm itself. Check the area above the breast, up to the collarbone, and all the way over to your shoulder. Consider using one of these patterns:

    • Lines. Start in the underarm area and move your fingers downward little by little until they are below the breast. Then move your fingers slightly toward the middle and slowly move back up. Go up and down until you cover the whole area.
    • Circles. Beginning at the outer edge of your breast, move your fingers slowly around the whole breast in a circle. Move around the breast in smaller and smaller circles, gradually working toward the nipple. Don't forget to check the underarm and upper chest areas, too.
    • Wedges. Starting at the outer edge of the breast, move your fingers toward the nipple and back to the edge. Check your whole breast, covering one small, wedge-shaped section at a time. Be sure to check the underarm area and the upper chest.

    The American Cancer Society recommends using three different levels of pressure to examine your breasts:

    • Light pressure—to examine the tissue closest to the skin
    • Medium pressure—to feel a little deeper
    • Firm pressure—to feel deeper tissue closer to the chest wall

    6. Some women repeat step 5 in the shower. Your fingers will glide easily over soapy skin, so you can focus on feeling for changes underneath.




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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    The Five Steps of a Breast Self-Exam


    Step 1

    Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.


    Here's what you should look for:




    Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
    Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
    If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:


    Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
    A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
    Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling



    Step 2:

    Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.







    Step 3:

    While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).





    Step 4:

    Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.


    Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.


    Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your rib cage.





    Step 5:

    Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.





    What if you find a lump?


    One of the most frightening moments for a woman is seeing or feeling something different or unusual while performing breast self-examination. One of the most important reasons to do regular breast self-examination is so that you know what is normal for your breasts. If you find a lump, it is important not to panic.


    If you discover lumpiness in one breast or feel something "different" in the tissue, or if you feel a definite lump, there may be valid reason for concern, and it is important to contact a health care provider. Sometimes, the lumpiness may be due to menstrual changes, but if you have nipple discharge or skin changes such as dimpling or puckering, your health care provider may want to see you right away.


    It is natural to be frightened when discovering a lump, but do not let the prospect of cancer keep you from taking action. Remember that most breast lumps are benign (not cancer).




    WHAT CAN I DO TO REDUCE MY RISK OF BREAST CANCER?

    Although you cannot prevent cancer, some habits that can help reduce your risk are:

    1. Maintain a healthy weight
    2. Stay physically active
    3. Eat fruits and vegetables
    4. Do not smoke
    5. Limit alcohol consumption


    When you visit your doctor routinely ask them to check your technique of examination so you can be sure that you are doing it correctly......

    I have used articles from national breast cancer foundation and john hopkins medicine website .....

    For better understanding have posted both the examination articles .....

    Hope it is easy to understand








    Last edited by PriyagauthamH; 12th Dec 2013 at 02:48 AM.
    Priya


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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by thenuraj View Post
    தேங்க்ஸ் ப்ரியா...
    உபயோகமான தகவல்....
    Welcome Thenu.......

    Priya


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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    பிரியா thank you மா, எல்லோருக்கும் அவசியமான தகவல்,


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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    very useful info .........thanks priya

    Arise ! awake ! and stop not till the goal is reached

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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    Will be a very useful article, for the ladies to follow. thanks a lot Priya.

    Deserving your new title.

    Jayanthy





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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    Very useful information. thank you!


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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    Welcome Chithu ka........

    chitramumbai likes this.
    Priya


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    Re: Self Examination of Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by Subhasreemurali View Post
    very useful info .........thanks priya
    Welcome Subha.............

    Priya


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