Breast cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases among Indian females and the mortality rate due to this cause is very saddening. It cannot be treated when detected in its last stage and hence early detection is key! We are breaking down the At-Home Breast Self-Exam, a breast cancer test at home, in three easy ways so you don’t have to run to your doctor for a physical checkup every month and you can examine your breasts yourself!
3 Ways of Performing At-Home Breast Self-Exam
In front of a mirror
To start with, you need to keep your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Ensure that your breasts are at their usual shape, size, and colour and does not have any shape distortion or swelling. We recommend consulting a doctor in case you encounter any of the following symptoms:
- Bulging of the skin
- Inverted nipple
- Skin rash
Once you are done, raise your arms and check for the same issues again. This time, also check if there are any signs of fluid coming out of your nipples. The fluid may be a watery, milky, yellow fluid or even blood.
You can perform this test while lying down. For the same, you may use your right hand to feel your left breast whereas your left hand to feel your right breast. Use the pads of your first few fingers. Keep them flat and altogether for a firm and smooth touch. Move your fingers in circular motion. Each time make sure the movement should just be about the size of a quarter.
Start at the nipple, keep moving in large circles until you reach your breast’s outer edge. You may also move your fingers vertically i.e. up and down, in rows. All you have to ensure is, you don’t miss to feel any tissue from the front to the back of your breast. Consider applying light pressure for the skin and tissue at the bottom, medium pressure for tissue at the middle and firm pressure for deep tissue at the back. You should be able to feel your rib cage when you’ve reached the deep tissue at the back.
In the shower
We believe that the easiest way to feel your breast is when the skin of your breast is wet and slippery and therefore it’s the best way so far. For this, you may use the same hand movements as described in the 2nd step (Lying down). Following a pattern of hand movements ensure that you cover the whole breast from top to bottom and side to side. Make sure you don’t miss out on feeling any tissue right from your collarbone to abdomen and from your armpit to cleavage.
If you feel or catch sight of any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please don’t disregard it and do pay visit to a doctor and convey things thoroughly.
Follow these 3 simple tests at least once, every month. Breast self-exam is always the most comfortable and early detection is always the safest. So, stay healthy and spread the love!
Also, don’t forget to check out our blog post on Home remedies for minimising the risk of breast cancer as we always say – more homely, more healthy!