october 15th is the European Breast Cancer Day. This disease is the second most common cause of death among women in Poland. How to protect yourself against this kind of cancer? The only answer to this question are regular examinations
Early detection of breast cancer is associated with a very high chance of its complete cure. It is worth knowing that the risk of this disease increases with age. Among women before the age of 45 cancer is rare, and most cases occur in women over 50. However, remember that a breast examination is recommended from the age of 18. Can this cancer also occur in men? Yes, but it happens very rarely. It is estimated that one out of one hundred cases of breast cancer is breast cancer in men.
As we have already mentioned, the easiest way to fight breast cancer (apart from check-ups with a specialist) is regular self-examination. How to perform it? Here is a step-by-step instruction
How to perform breast self-examination?
Stand in front of a mirror. Raise both hands up and check if you see any change in the shape or color of your breasts. Look for wrinkling of the skin or any hollows that were not there before. Do the nipples look the same as always, or are they pointing in the same direction?
Rest your hands on your hips, press them against your body, tighten your chest, and make the same observations as in Step 1.
Squeeze the nipples one at a time and look to see if any discharge comes out. If you squeeze your nipples, you may be able to get some fluid out, as there is always a small amount in the milk ducts. However, secretions should never come out on their own without touching the nipple. If you notice that stains appear on your bra, consult your doctor.
What to do next Place your left hand on the back of your head and your right hand on your left breast to flatten it as much as possible. Starting at the collarbone and working your way around the breast along the widest part of the circumference, going up to the nipple, press down with the pads of your three middle fingers (index, middle, and ring fingers) and make small circles around each part of the breast. Do these motions first with light pressure and then, at the same point on the breast, repeat with increased pressure.
Smoothly move the three fingers to the next point, trying not to miss any area.
Also examine your left armpit with your right hand to check for enlarged lymph nodes.
Inspect the other breast and armpit in the same way. Check to see if you feel any lumps that were not there before.
If you feel any change, go to your doctor and ask to be referred for a mammogram. This is a test that has high sensitivity and specificity – it uses X-rays.
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