Beginning age 20, women should be informed about the benefits and limitations of self breast exam (SBE). Johns Hopkins Medicine states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” Doing the SBE is very easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- While standing in front of a mirror, check for puckering, dimpling, scaliness and nipple discharge.
- Clasp your hands behind your head then press your hands forward and look for any change in the shape or contour of your breasts.
- Press your hands firmly on your hips and bend slightly toward the mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward. Look for any change in the shape or contour of your breasts.
- Gently squeeze each nipple and look for a discharge.
- Lie flat on your back with one arm over your head and a pillow or folded towel under your shoulder. Using the pads of the fingers of your other hand, feel for any unusual lump or mass by pressing your fingers in overlapping areas about the size of a dime. Follow a definite pattern: lines, circles or wedges. It’s very important to cover the whole breast up to the collar bone and the shoulder including the underarm.
- Some women repeat step 5 in the shower.
Always remember to pick the same time of the month to do the SBE. For premenopausal women, SBE should be done toward the end of the month.
If you discover an unusual lump, see or feel anything “different” in your breasts, consult your doctor.
An annual exam with an OB is recommended. You can avail of a checkup like this at our clinics for P670.00. The package includes Pap smear, one (1) Breast Ultrasound or one (1) Transvaginal Ultrasound and one (1) OB-Gynecology consultation. For more info on the card, visit this link: http://www.philcare.com.ph/product-list/womens-health/
American Cancer Society
Johns Hopkins Medicine
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.