How to detect breast cancer at early stage
Steps to Breast Self Examination (BSE)
Be breast aware
To be breast aware means becoming familiar with how your breasts look and feel. You should understand how your breasts may change at different times during the month and also as you get older. For some women, breasts become enlarged, tender and lumpy just before a period, and then return to normal once the period is over, others may have swollen breasts throughout their cycle. Age, pregnancy, and the menopause can all affect the size and feel of your breasts. The important thing is to recognise which changes are usual and which are not. Make sure you know what is normal for you.
These are the five steps to self-examination that every woman should practice every month.
Step 1: After a bath, step in front of a large mirror and put your hands on your hips. Look at the size, shape, and colour of your breasts. They should look as they normally do with no visible dimples, puckering, or swelling.
Step 2: Raise your arms above your head and clasp your hands together. Examine your breasts as you did in step one and look for dimples, puckering, swelling, rashes, or inverted nipples.
Step 3: Place your arms at your side and gently squeeze each nipple between finger and thumb to check for any discharge.
Step 4: Next, lie down, and use your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Taking three fingers, firmly press the breast in small circles from top to bottom and side to side. Make sure to go as far as the collarbone to the top of the abdomen and from cleavage to armpit. Do this three times, first with a soft touch, then with increased pressure, and on the very last time press firmly and deeply.
Step 5: Finally, either sitting in a chair or standing, feel your breasts as you did in step four.
By doing this woman can not only become more familiar with their breasts but can sense breast problems before they become too serious. You should look for any lump or any nipple discharge.
If any of these is found in the breast self examination , then you should consult your doctor. Please remember that early detection leads to complete cure. The survival rates for early breast cancer are excellent and these women lead healthy normal lives.