Self-exams good for early detection

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012 there will be about 39,510 deaths from breast cancer. That is about half the population of Livermore. In recognition of that, many organizations are moving to publicize how women can be their very own first line of defense in the fight against breast cancer.

Below is a brief explanation of how to perform a breast self-exam. Much of the information was compiled from the website breastcancer.org.

First stand in front of a mirror. Put your hands on your hips and stand up straight.

One should check that breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color.

Any swelling or visible distortions should be noted.

The following changes will warrant a visit to the doctor:

Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin

  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
  • Fluid coming from the nipples whether it be milky, bloody, watery or yellow

Next, raise your arms. Look at your breasts and look for the changes mentioned above.

Now lay down.  Breastcancer.org states “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 finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.”

Check your entire breast using this method. Do top to bottom and side to side. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side i.e. from the collarbone to the top of the stomach, then the base of the arm or armpit to the cleavage fold.

“Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts,” states the website.

Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting, preferably while they’re wet.  As described above, cover the entire breast.

For more information on breast cancer self-checks, symptoms and treatments visit breast cancer.org

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Nutritional and Adopt physically active lifestyle
Physical Cancer Prevention

1.Balance calorie intake  with physical activity.

2. Adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate vigorous physical activities.

3. Limit intake of processed and red meats.

4. Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.

5. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day.

For more information on breast cancer self-checks, symptoms and treatments, visit breastcancer.org.

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