How to check your breasts for lumps

We live in a world in which one of the best treatments for major treatable diseases is simply early detection. In addition, it is also critical that people eat healthily, get informed, and take care of their bodies. For this reason, it is crucial that people of all ages understand how important it is to do a breast cancer check regularly, know exactly how to do a breast check and how to check for breast lumps. A breast cancer self-check could save your life, and encouraging others to do the same could save theirs too. Early detection can improve the survival rate overall. Keep reading to learn all about how you can check for breast cancer at home.

October is breast cancer awareness month : How to check for breast cancer at home in 5 steps

When is breast cancer awareness month? Do you know how to check yourself for breast cancer? The month of October is the official breast cancer awareness month. Did you know that breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women (1)? A breast cancer self-check can help lead to an early diagnosis and potentially avoid any unnecessary progression of the disease. We have broken down how to do a breast self-exam at home in 5 simple steps. 

How to check yourself for breast cancer

  • Step 1: Find a well-lit area of your home where you can stand in front of the mirror and see yourself clearly. 
  • Step 2: First get undressed and look for any of the following conditions:

    • Lumps

    • Skin changes, including changes in coloring 

    • Dimpling 

    • Swelling

    • Irritation

    • Pulling-in 

    • Discharge

    • Pain

  • Step 3: Raise both hands above your head and look for the same changes as step 2.  

  • Step 4: Now lay on your back and feel your breasts one at a time, use your fingertips from your opposite hand and apply firm pressure. Start at the outside of your armpit near your back and with a small circular motion, move up and down in lines from high in your armpit to below your breast crease. Ensure you cover the entire area from your collar bone to your cleavage and underneath each breast crease. In addition, adopt a wedge formation movement as well as a circular pattern of motion to ensure the whole breast and chest have been examined. 

  • Step 5: Repeat step 4 while standing up, most people prefer to do this in the shower. Try to make this part of your regular routine going forward. 

If you see or experience anything different or something highlighted in this article, reach out to your healthcare provider for an appointment and state the signs and symptoms to them explaining that you have completed a breast cancer check and have some concerns. 

What is breast cancer awareness month?

Since 1985, and every year since then, October has been the month dedicated to increasing the awareness of breast cancer and raising funds for its treatment as well as for research and care for patients suffering with and recovering from breast cancer. Breast cancer awareness month was launched by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca). It was originally intended to encourage women to get regular mammograms and learn how to check their breasts (3).  Anyone can take part in and support the activities that are held in the month of October. It is important to show support and help to accelerate the research in this area of cancer. There are several charities and organizations that support breast cancer research and patients living with breast cancer, they include the American Cancer Society, Breastcancer.org, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Young Survival Coalition. On Friday, October 22, everyone is encouraged to wear pink and help raise money as well as to promote important tools such as how to self-check for breast cancer. If you don’t own anything pink, a pink ribbon can be worn as this is the universal symbol for breast cancer. 

Perifit advocates for everyone’s health and wellbeing 

Although Perifit (4) is a pelvic floor trainer provider, advocating for health and wellbeing is paramount in our mission as a company. We want to support our users and any readers with information that can help to improve overall health and wellness. Let us know what you think of our article telling you how to check your breasts at home in 5 steps, and if there is anything you would like to have us discuss or address in this space. 

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References:

  1. Breast Cancer Org, ‘US Breast Cancer Statistics’ date accessed on 10/04/2021: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics#:~:text=About%201%20in%208%20U.S.,(in%20situ)%20breast%20cancer 
  2. For The Love Of Cups, ‘Feel Your Cups 4 Simple Steps of a Breast Self-Exam date accessed on 10/04/2021: https://www.fortheloveofcups.org/feel-your-cups 
  3. STAT, ‘Enough pink: We’re doing Breast Cancer Awareness Month all wrong’ date accessed on 10/04/2021: https://www.statnews.com/2021/10/03/enough-pink-lets-do-breast-cancer-awareness-month-right/
  4. Perifit, ‘Strengthen your pelvic floor with games date accessed on 10/04/2021: https://perifit.co/