CATCHING CANCER EARLY
OVER 18,000 people will have been diagnosed with new cases of breast cancer this year, with over 3000 deaths from this particular cancer.
Almost 150 of those diagnosed will be male, while over 18,000 are female.
While these statistics are sobering, it’s not all doom and gloom.
When breast cancer is detected early, the prognosis is really good.
Though this is in no way superior to an official check by a doctor and mammogram, one way to detect breast cancer is to check yourself regularly at home.
The ideal frequency is at least once a month, so you become familiar with how your breasts look and feel and can notice any changes readily.
IN THE SHOWER
Move around your entire breast in a circular pattern with the pads of your fingers, going from the outside to the centre.
Don’t forget that breast tissue extends into the armpit area as well.
IN FRONT OF A MIRROR
This is good for a visual check — look out for contour changes, swelling, dimpling of the skin, puckering, or changes to the nipples.
You’ll want to inspect with your arms at your sides first, then when raising your arms high overhead, and finally by resting your hands on your hips and pressing firmly to flex chest muscles.
Place a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head.
Examine your right breast using a circular motion with the finger pads of your left hand, remembering once again to cover the entire area and armpit.
Repeat the process for your left breast.