All too often women put their health and needs last in order to take care of others. By routinely performing self-breast exams monthly you can not only know your body better, but you may be the first to notice any changes to your breasts.
Here are five tips on how to perform self-breast exams at home.
How to Perform Breast Exams at Home
- Mark Your Calendar – According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, performing a monthly self-breast exam can help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes. As a reminder, mark your calendar the same day each month. This way you will have a mental note that will help keep your routine.
- How to Get Started – There are three main positions most women use to perform the self-breast exam: in the shower, in front of a mirror or laying on back. You may find one way more convenient than the others and do what feels the most comfortable to you.
- Performing the Exam – You will want to begin the exam by using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Don’t forget to examine both breasts each month feeling for any lumps, thickening, or hardened knots.
- If You Notice Change – If while performing your self-breast exam you notice any sort of changes in your breast tissue or are alarmed by differences in color, texture, or find a lump, contact your gynecologist to schedule an appointment. Even though breast tissue may change over time, knowing your “norm” is important to proper self-examination and relaying any concerns you may have to your primary care doctor and gynecologist.
- Schedule Routine Mammograms and Well-Woman Appointments – We cannot stress enough how important maintaining your routine well-woman appointments can be. In 2018, over 250,00 new diagnoses of breast cancer occurred. Being proactive with your health and keeping open communication with your gynecologist is crucial if you have any questions or concerns about your breast health.
Schedule Your Next Well-Woman Appointment
Don’t put yourself and your health on the back burner. Schedule your next well-woman appointment today! At OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, we provide total women’s healthcare and care deeply about the health and wellness of all women. If you have any questions or concerns about breast health or self-breast exams please don’t hesitate to contact our office.