Are you doing your monthly breast self-exam?

Since I’ve done the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in May, I’ve become more aware how important early diagnosis in breast cancer treatment is. It ticks me off to receive forwarded ciphered chain messages in the e-mail during the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We have to remind our family and friends to do their monthly breast self-exams and have annual clinical breast exams done instead of sending chain e-mails. Make sure your ob-gyn does your clinical exam during your annual check-up.

There are lots of reliable resources on breast self-exam. You can do it on the third or the fourth day after the end of your menstrual period. You conduct monthly breast self-exam you cin front of a mirror,and get familiarized with your breast size, shape, structure and texture. That helps you be aware of any changes  and consult a doctor in a timely manner. The symptoms that should trigger a consultation are:

  • The change in the size of the breast
  • A new lump or mass
  • The change in the color of skin of the breasts
  • The inversion of the nipple
  • A discharge from the nipple
Breast self exams should not replace the clinical breast examinations by a health professional. Do not skip your annual clinical breast exam done by a nurse or a doctor, such as your ob-gyn.
Keep in mind that not all lumps or masses are malignant or life threatening.

Sharing this post with your loved ones, instead of sending them non-sense forward e-mails is definitely better use of time since it might help a possible early diagnosis.

Resources:
http://women.webmd.com/breast-self-examinatio
http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam
http://www.breastcancer.org
http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

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