The Breast Self-Examination is a procedure that every woman ought to
perform regularly in order to detect any sign of breast cancer on its
early stages. Not every cancer can be detected during BSE, but further
you examine your breasts, more likely it will become to notice something
wrong. By detecting any modification through this approach, you will
be able to seek further diagnosis and treatment.
A BSE must be performed several days after your period ends, so that
your breasts will likely to be less sensitive. If normally you don't
have regular periods or if you no longer have them, always perform
the exam on the very same day every month. As it consists of visual
examination at first and then a self-probing examination. Self-examination
won't hurt you, and it can't interfere in your menstrual cycle either,
nor in your breast sensitivity. Being the BSE divided into five steps
- Look for unusual changes in color patterns, size and shape in both
breasts and nipples. Place your hands on your hips and look at yourself
in the mirror to identify rashes, swelling or alterations in shape.
- Raise your arms and repeat the same previous steps, paying extra attention
to any discrepancies in the armpit area.
- Gently squeeze both nipples with your fingers to check for any secretions
(milky or somewhat yellow-ish fluids) or even blood.
- Lay down on your back and fondle your breast in search for lumps
or anything that feels unusual. Start at the nipple, feeling your right
breast with your left hand and vice versa and then move in circles with
a gentle but firm touch until reaches the outer edge of the breast.
Make sure to cover the entire breast and then increase the pressure
a bit, to feel deeper tissues.
- Continue to feel your breast while standing or sitting. You'd better
perform this particular step in the shower, when your skin is still
tender and slippery, therefore easier to spot anything strange. Repeat
the same movements described in step 4. If you decide to examine yourself
in the shower, make sure the water is Luke-warm. As the cold water causes
the breasts to retract rendering examination more difficult.
In case of any lump felt there's no reason to freak out. Some women
find lumps in their breasts all the time, or spots that may feel like
grains of sand. It's important to acknowledge the intricacies of your
body and know where or when you would have those lumps and thus detect
anything unusual or something that has suddenly changed. The breasts
may feel different due to hormonal changes during your period. In
knowing where and when your breasts develop lumps, you will avoid
pointless biopsies, since there's no need for such an examination
to diagnose a regular lump. Seek medical aid only if alterations
last more than one cycle, seemingly to get bigger progressively or
growing abnormally. It's vital to seek assistance as soon as something
unusual turns up. Also, it's important to learn that 80% of the breast
lumps removed by surgery are benign.
The BSE is the best possible way to keep in check any bodily alterations,
hence preventing breast cancer. There can be performed anywhere at
any time, although you need to be relaxed and comfortable so as to
perform it carefully. In fact, you may even resort to BSE and improve
your sexuality. In this instance, matching BSE with self-stimulation
sticks out as the option to render a simple exam into something gratifying.
Other than burden self-imposition, the BSE is your guarantee for prevention
of breast cancer and to leading a healthy and enjoyable sexuality