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How To Perform Breast Self Examination?

Posted Jul 21 2009 9:00am
Women's bodies are one of the best creations of the God, but they also have the potential to catch some pretty nasty complaints. So women need to keep a serious look out for any small signs of problems anywhere on their body to stay healthy. Monthly breast self-examination is important to avoid any risk of breast cancer and other related problems.

Almost all breast malignancies are first detected by the women themselves. Detection of breast cancer in the early stages, when it is localized, is of paramount importance, because if treated early, the disease can be cured completely. Hence, the importance of self examination of the breasts, monthly, as routine healthy habit, to be practiced by all women above the age of 20 years should be emphasized. It should be performed at about the same time every month, just after the monthly period, when breast is least likely to be nodular. You must look for any changes since the last time the breasts were examined.

The examination may be performed as follows, examining one breast at a time, first inspecting and then palpating the breast.

Inspection –

• Start by sitting or standing in front of a mirror, with arms relaxed at the sides. Look for a change in the size of the shape of the breast, puckering or dimpling of the skin, and any discharge form or change in, the nipple.
• Next, look for exactly the same things, after raising both arms over the head

The inspection is now complete and you may proceed to palpation of the breast looking for nay lump or thickening.

Palpation –

• Lie down and put a pillow under the left shoulder, with the left hand under the head. Using the fingers of the right hand, held together and flat, press gently but firmly with small circular movements, to feel the upper inner quarter of the left breast, starting at the breast bone and going outward will you reach the nipple line. Feel the region around the nipple.
• Similarly examine the lower inner part of the left breast. In this region, a region, a ridge of firm tissue may be felt, which is normal.
• Now, bringing the hand down to the side, still using the fingers, feel under the armpit.
• After this, examine the upper outer quarter of the breast, from the nipple line to where your arm is resting, in a similar manner.
• Lastly, with the same gentle pressure examine the lower outer quarter of the breast, starting from the outer part and going to the nipple.

Repeat the same procedure on the right side completing the examination of the breast.

Thus, you broadly looks for a lump, change in the size or shape, puckering, dimpling or any other skin lesion over the breast or discharge from the nipple. If any abnormality is detected, do not be alarmed, as all lumps or other changes are not cancerous. However, it is the best to consult a doctor for a complete and proper evaluation of the condition.

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