For Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, we want to make sure all you lovely ladies are protecting yourselves. The best way to protect is to prevent, so checking your breasts regularly is super important. If you’re not sure how, then follow our 5 steps on how to screen yourself at home.
Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. Look out for your breasts taking an unusual size, shape, colour or swelling. If they seem to have dimpled, puckered or have any bulging of the skin go and have a chat with your doctor. A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple, redness, soreness, rash, or swelling are other signs that you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes as listed above.
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)
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 touch and small circular motions.
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 decolletage.
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. 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 ribcage.
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.