Check your Boobs!

Inspirational quoteI thought I would write my first ‘real’ blog post on boobs, we all have them and they need to be looked after!

Boobs… a subject very close to my heart, not just because all boobs are fabulous but because paying close attention to them at least once a month is so very important… why? 2 words – Breast Cancer.

I was diagnosed last year (2011) with breast cancer and after 7 months of aggressive treatment – surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy I am now in remission… yay!!!

But this could’ve been a different story if I was not aware of my body and didn’t religiously do the boob check. I caught it early because of doing this every month. I had no history of breast cancer in my family and as you can imagine it came as quite a shock. So please, if you don’t already do a regular boob check please start… could save your own life like I did.

If you have no idea where to start check out the following tutorial or click on this site for more information.

Take control of your health – you can help protect yourself against Breast cancer. Early detection has been proven to save lives!

How To Do a Breast Self Exam (BSE)

If you are pre-menopausal:

  • Set a regular time to examine your breasts a few days after your period ends, when hormone levels are relatively stable and breasts are less tender.

If you are already menopausal (have not had a period for a year or more):

  • Pick a particular day of the month to do the exam, and then repeat your BSE on that day each month.

You should look out for the following changes:

  • A lump or lumpiness or even a change in shape or appearance of your breast such a dimpling, redness and appearance of veins
  • An area that feels different to the rest of your breast or any pain in your breast
  • Any change in the shape or appearance of your nipple, such as your nipple being pulled in or development of a rash
  • A discharge from your nipple, particularly if it is bloody

How to check your Boobs – step by step

1. In the privacy of your bathroom, strip to the waist and stand in front of a mirror. You will need to see both breasts at the same time. Stand with your hands on your hips and check the appearance of your breasts. Look at size, shape, and contour. Note changes, if any, in the skin color or texture. Look at the nipples to see how healthy they look.

2. Still standing in front of the mirror, raise your arms over your head and see if your breasts move in the same way, and note any differences. Look at size, shape, and drape, checking for symmetry. Pay attention to your nipples and areolas, to see if you have any dimples, bumps, or retraction (indentation). Look up toward your armpits and note if there is any swelling where your lymph nodes are (lower armpit area).

3. Raise your left arm overhead, and use your right-hand fingers to apply gentle pressure to the left breast. Stroke from the top to the bottom of the breast, moving across from the inside of the breast all the way into your armpit area. You can also use a circular motion, being sure to cover the entire breast area. Take note of any changes in texture, color, or size. Switch sides and repeat. This is best done in the shower, as wet skin will have the least resistance to the friction of your fingers.

4. Still facing the mirror, lower both arms. With the index and middle fingers of your right hand, gently squeeze the left nipple and pull forward. Does the nipple spring back into place? Does it pull back into the breast? Note whether or not any fluid leaks out. Reverse your hands and check the right nipple in the same way.

5. Place a pillow on the bed so that you can lie with both your head and shoulders on the pillow. Lie down and put your left hand behind your head. Use your right hand to stroke the breast and underarm, as you did in step 3. Take note of any changes in texture, color, or size. Switch sides and repeat.

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