The Breast Self Examination is something you can do yourself, by getting to know how your breasts normally look and feel, BSE is a skill you can use throughout your life to help ensure good breast health. The earlier breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.
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:
While you're at the mirror, gently squeeze each nipple between your finger and thumb and check for nipple discharge this could be fluid or Blood.
Next, 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.
Be sure to feel all the breast tissue: just beneath your skin with a soft touch and down deeper with a firmer touch. Begin examining each area with a very soft touch, and then increase pressure so that you can feel the deeper tissue, down to your ribcage.
The correct technique of palpation is with the flat of the fingers and not the tip of fingers
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 4. Also feel for glands in your armpits.
For women of Reproductive age group the best timeto do BSE is between 7 -10 days after period starts, when your breasts are least likely to be tender or swollen. If you no longer menstruate, pick a particular day, such as the first Sunday of the month, to remind yourself “it is time to do BSE”.
First thing is not to panic. Most of the lumps found are not cancerous but only your doctor can make the diagnosis. It is important to seek medical help immediately, when a change or lump is detected. Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer.
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