Wednesday, October 16, 2013

HEALTH: Care of the Breast

There are several things that women can do
to ensure good breast health.
Some of the easiest and importants
precautionary steps to take is to eat well
and exercise. This not only ensures good
overall health, but also good breast health.
It is also a good idea to reduce the amount
of time that you wear a bra, and only wear
ones that fit you properly. Getting a good
sports bra for added support when you are
out getting your daily exercise or even
when you are walking around at home may
be beneficial. Or you can decide to go bra-
It is also a good idea to learn how to do
breast self-exams, and to do these on a
regular basis. Also, have clinical
examinations done at your annual medical
check-up. Determine your risk factors and
discuss these with your doctor so that you
can decide when to start having regular
mammograms or thermograms. Getting a
mammogram is especially important if you
are over the age of 40 or if you have certain
risk factors (e.g. a family history of breast
cancer, personal history of breast cancer or
a genetic predisposition). A mammogram is
an X-ray of the breast that will show any
abnormal changes before you or your
doctor will be able to feel them. This can
be pivotal in early diagnosis and treatment
of cancer. Women at increased risk should
talk with their doctors about the benefits
and limitations of starting screening earlier
or having additional tests performed, such
as breast ultrasound or MRI.

How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam:

Begin by looking at your breasts in the
mirror with your shoulders straight and
your hands on your hips.
Here is what you should look for:
1.  Breasts that are their usual size, shape,
and color.
2.  Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortions or swelling.
If you see any of the following changes,
bring them to your doctor’s attention:
1.  Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin.
2.  A nippple that has changed position or
become inverted (pushed inwardly
instead of sticking out).
3.  Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling.

Raise your arms and look for the same

While you are 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; any lumps or
thickening will be easier to feel than when
your skin is dry. Thus, many women like to
do this step in the shower. Cover your
entire breast, using the same hand
movements described above.

(Information taken from , and from the
American Cancer Society, )

No comments:

Post a Comment