Saturday, May 28, 2022

Be smarter than Breast Cancer ÔÇô detect it early!

This month, the world challenges you to take action against breast cancer, and so do we.
Breast cancer is among the leading causes of death in women around the world today. Many of these women would have lived so many years with a breast lump, but unaware of what it could mean or its possible consequences!

There are so many different breast lumps, most of them are harmless and are said to be benign. It’s only in one circumstance when a breast lump becomes harmful and that is when it’s cancerous.

It is the nature of cancer that it grows on one spot then after some period of time, it spreads to other areas of the body. If detected early, cure may be possible, especially if there is a good follow up plan.

So, it is advisable for women to help doctors by detecting any lump that may be growing within their breasts and getting it checked up early! Through this, we will be able to detect cancerous breast lumps and getting them treated accordingly on time.

There are various techniques of self breast examination. Here we describe one method worth trying at home.

The clock pattern technique of breast self examination
In this technique, your examining hand behaves like hands of a clock. The surface of the breast becomes the face of the clock over which the clock hands move or rotate.

Start by lying on your back on a flat surface like your bed and place your left hand behind your head and examine your left breast with the right hand.

Straighten your fingers and palm of your hand and place it at the very top of your breast.
Press the pads of your fingers on the breast in and move in slight circular motions like the hands of a clock do.

Move around the same way, in clockwise direction until you reach the initial point and move in slight circular motions towards the nipple.

After finishing with the breast move to the armpit and check for some swelling or growths or nodes.
Repeat the same procedure for the other breast.

It is also important that you sit in front of a mirror and compare the size and length of your breasts. Do this by placing your hands on waist sides and compare your breasts.
Next, place your hands behind your head and do the same.

The signs of a worrisome lump
Hard, rough surface, fixed and not movable, irregular borders, may or may not be painful, and be associated with bloody discharge, skin dimpling or colour and texture changes of the skin. Sometimes the breast or nipple may be pulled back or turned upwards, compared to the breast on the opposite side.

What you should know
Not all lumps are cancerous.
Many women have lumps which are not cancerous.
Cancer does not always present with a lump.
Nipple discharge of any time in a non breast feeding woman should be checked by doctors.
Breast cancer lump is not always painful.
Whether you feel anything or not during self breast examination, always ensure that you get checked physically by your doctor every six months.
Breast cancer is curable if it is detected early.
Breast cancer affects men too.

Ask your doctor about other cancers, and how they can be screened for.
Let us detect breast cancer early and prevent suffering and loss of lives by knowing our breasts well.

“Whether you feel anything or not during self breast examination, always ensure that you get checked by your doctor every six months”

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