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Importance of Self Breast Exam
A breast exam is a method used to detect any noticeable changes in the breasts. You can benefit from routinely performing breast exams as part of your overall screening strategy. There have been numerous differing opinions about the benefits of self-breast exams and whether they are ideal for the detection of breast cancer. But, most times, performing the exams is still considered to be an effective way of knowing your body and how your breast tissue feels. It is an essential step you should take to care for your body and yourself.
A self-breast exam is a convenient tool that a person should use regularly. Although a mammogram is ideal for screening for cancer detection, self-breast exams can also help in detection. A breast exam increases the chances of a person noticing cancer symptoms and other conditions early. It is important to know what is normal for the breast. Having more familiarity with the breasts is an important part of detection.
Detection of problems
Screening plays a vital role in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Regular breast exams can help find breast cancer at an early and more curable stage. This increases a person’s chances of successful treatment. Many times, people first find breast cancer on their own through this method.
All breasts often feel a little bumpy and lumpy at times. Therefore, a person needs to know how the breast tissue feels. A breast exam makes it easier for a person to notice when there are changes and any abnormalities and to take action sooner. A person can find a lump while conducting a self-breast exam. Other obvious signs can also be found.
A doctor should be informed if a person notices any lumps or changes. Painful breasts are not usually associated with breast cancer. But breasts should be evaluated and monitored if the pain does not go away. Screening can also find other problems in the breasts that are not cancer.
When a person does a breast exam, the individual uses the eyes and hands to become familiar with how the breasts feel and look. A person will know the specifics of the breasts. These range from the normal consistency of the underlying and exterior tissues to the way the skin and nipples feel. Breast exams give people a deeper understanding of their own bodies that can make them aware of small but significant changes. This means people can notice other subtle changes aside from just lumps or obvious symptoms. A person may not notice these changes without the advantage of familiarity because of frequent breast exams.
Concerns that may surface through a self breast exam
A patient must learn what to watch out for during this exam. Understanding what to check can mean early treatment. The patient can contact the attending doctor right away if a problem is evident. Below are the things the patient may observe during a self-exam:
- Warmer or hotter breast tissue
- Discharge from the nipple without pressing the breast or nipple
- Darkening or redness of the breast’s skin
- A hard knot or lump under the arm or in the breast tissue
- Peeling or flaking of the skin around the patient’s nipple
- A sore or rash around the nipple
- Dimpling of the breast’s skin
- Bulges in the breast’s skin
- A change in breast shape or size
- Sinking in of the nipple
Preparing for the self-test
This starts with a consultation with a doctor. Asking the doctor about specific self breast test instructions is an ideal way to become familiar with the process. Discussing each step and technique can provide a good picture of what to do. During a menstrual cycle, it is better to choose a time when the breasts are not that tender. This is often the week after the menstrual cycle ends.
Limitations and risks
A self breast test is a good way to know the normal feel and appearance of one’s breast. But upon the discovery of abnormalities, such as lumps, the patient may experience anxiety. Negative feelings may arise even if the lumps are not cancerous. This feeling may persist for days until the set doctor’s appointment. An exam that a doctor performs will have a breast ultrasound, mammogram, and a possible biopsy. The patient will feel better if these tests will give negative results.
Self-breast exams are an effective screening tool that can help to detect breast cancer. A breast exam can help you find breast cancer and seek treatment in good time. A self-breast exam should be combined with regular visits with your doctor for a clinical breast exam and a mammogram. To learn more about breast exams, contact your doctor. It is advisable to find out if self-breast exams will work for you.
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