Raising Breast Cancer Awareness
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to reflect on the ways women can play an active role in their breast health.
It is estimated that more than 266,000 women in the United States will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in 2018. With approximately 12.4 percent of women being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes, breast cancer is something that touches us all.
In addition to knowing their family health history, having clinical exams and mammograms on a schedule recommended by their healthcare professional, and making healthy lifestyle choices, women can also be proactive about their breast health by practicing breast self-awareness. Breast self-awareness isn’t complicated; it just means becoming familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts so that you can immediately report any changes to your healthcare professional for proper diagnosis.
Breast Self-Exam as a Part of Breast Self-Awareness
Monthly breast self-examination (BSE) can play an important role in breast self-awareness by helping women become familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts.
lumps make a great breast health education giveaway.
How to Perform Breast Self-Examination
The best time to perform BSE is a few days after your periods end. If you no longer have periods, do BSE on the same day each month. Use a consistent pattern each month to examine your breasts. Many healthcare professionals recommend using the vertical pattern while lying down.
is recommended by many healthcare professionals.
To perform BSE using the vertical pattern, use the flat surface of the three middle fingers to make overlapping, dime-size, circular motions on the breast tissue. Apply light, medium, and firm pressure to examine all levels of breast tissue. Begin moving the fingers in an up-and-down pattern from the collarbone to the ribs, continuing the up-and-down pattern across the breast to the middle of the chest bone.
Breast Changes to Report
It is not possible to determine the exact nature of any changes in your breast simply by touch or appearance. Any change in the appearance or feel of the breast should be reported to a healthcare professional for diagnosis. If you notice these or any other breast changes, contact your healthcare professional:
- A lump in the breast or armpit area
- A puckering of the skin of the breast
- An unusual change in the size or shape of a breast
- An unusual swelling of the upper arm
- An enlargement of lymph nodes
- A change in the skin or inward turn of the nipple
- A dimpling on the skin of the breast or nipple
- Any unusual discharge from the nipple
- Accentuated veins on the surface of the breast
understand warning signs of breast cancer.
How Health Edco BSE Models Can Enhance Breast Self-Awareness
Health Edco offers the most realistic BSE models as well as a variety of other educational resources to help women understand the critical roles of breast self-exam, clinical exams, and mammography in the early detection of breast cancer.
models with different types of breast tissue.
With breast models that feature palpable and non-palpable lumps, our BSE models help women learn to become familiar with their own breast tissue and check for any changes. The non-palpable lumps emphasize the important role of mammography in breast cancer detection.
for group BSE instruction.
To learn more about our wide selection of breast self-exam models and other breast health education products, please visit our Women’s Health Section. To learn more about the breast cancer screening schedule that is right for you, talk to your healthcare professional.
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