Breast cancer is an issue that hits right at home since everybody might have known someone, be it a friend or family member, who have been affected or has succumbed to the disease. To this day, this type of cancer remains to be among the most common neoplastic disease that claims the lives of thousands around the world every year. With major factor for survival being prompt diagnosis and treatment, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular self-breast examination. Every woman, including those with breast implants, should ensure that you perform this every month. Read on to see how this is done.
For 2016, it is estimated that the incidence rate of breast cancer will increase until the 65-69 age group. This then tapers down for the 70-79 age group before increasing for individuals aged 80 and above.
Cancer, as they say, is a silent killer. Beyond the statistics and trends evident from it, it’s the story of those affected by it and their struggle that touch people looking from the outside.
However, the truth is that there is something you can do to tip the scales in your favour. Maybe not dramatically, but it can spell the difference between being a fatality to the disease or a survivor – and that is early detection.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women perform breast self-examination (BSE) at age 20. Between 20 and 39, they should have a clinical breast examination (CBE) by a health care professional every three years, and once she hits 40, she should have an annual mammogram along with CBE.
Even with regular breast check up done by professionals, it is still important that you perform BSE. It is in familiarizing yourself with your body that you are able to detect something that might feel off, more so in women who have breast implants.
Knowing your body allows for early detection should their be anything out of the ordinary. Cancer, when diagnosed at an early stage, improves a person’s chance of survival. And something as simple as a breast self examination can help you.
Breast Self Examination
Breastcancer.org gives the following instructions for a proper self-breast examination:
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 become inverted (pushed inward instead of sticking out).
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling.
Raise your arms and look for the same changes.
While you’re at the mirror, gently squeeze each nipple between your finger and thumb and check for nipple discharge (this could be a milky or yellow fluid or blood).
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 fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together.
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.
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 3.
Now that you’ve got that down, let’s take into consideration the fact that some women have breast implants. Regular breast self examination after breast implants is just as important, and it needs a bit more observance on your part.
Breast Self Exam for Women with Implants
After you have completely healed from your breast augmentation surgery, you should continue with your monthly breast self examinations. What women need to know is that your implants will not interfere with this process in any way. In fact, it may even make the process easier because the implant will push the breast forward making it easier for you to detect any changes in your breast tissue.
Breast tissue is always in front of the implants whether if it is placed behind the breast tissue or under the muscle. You might find this much easier to palpate because the breast tissue is stretched over the underlying breast implant.
The BSE process will still be the same, however, you may have to supplement this with mammograms and MRI. These diagnostic machines will help in getting a proper visualization of the internal structures should you miss anything from your BSE. Those who have silicone implants are actually required to get an MRI scan every 2-3 years to check the integrity of the implant.
Share this to a every woman you know today because being proactive in your breast health just might save your life.
If you wish to improve your form and fit better in your clothes, come and visit Dr. Daood Clinic today and together let’s plan on how we can make that happen. But always remember, that above and beyond beauty, you should make your health a priority. Book your consultation with us here.