It’s breast cancer awareness month people! You’ve seen those pink ribbons everywhere nowadays, but October is more than just buying those products that will contribute to charities. It’s time to get proactive ladies and gents (Yep, guys can get breast cancer too, albeit rare) and start copin’ a feel! We task our readers with a little breast cancer screening in the next week, either by performing a Breast Self-Exam (BSE) or scheduling a visit to the doctor.
No matter how old or young you are, checking for lumps is important. It’s a good idea to make it a habit, so you may notice any changes happening over time and because early detection is key. If you are uncomfortable with performing a SBE or would prefer the peace of mind that only an MD can provide, be sure to have your doctor perform a breast exam at your next check-up.
When checking for lumps you should lay flat on your back with an arm behind your head or standing up in the shower. Use the pads of your first three fingers and varying amounts of pressure to check for lumps.
If you have any of these problems, you should talk to your doctor:
- pain in your breast that seems unrelated to your period
- a red, hot, or swollen breast
- a lump in your armpit or near your collarbone
- a breast lump that’s new or unusual
- a new breast lump doesn’t go away after your next period
- an existing breast lump seems to have changed — it gets bigger, for instance
- You notice skin changes on your breast, such as redness, crusting, dimpling or puckering
- You notice changes in your nipple — it turns inward (inversion) or appears flatter, for instance
- You notice nipple discharge that’s clear, yellow, green, brown or red
If ever you’re unsure about what might be happening with your body, consult your physician! Better safe than sick.
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For some more clinical information on breast health, check out this link: