By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
Mamacitas, it’s Women’s Health Week. So let’s talk about something we should all be doing regularly… but most likely aren’t – checking our breasts. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever done a self-check and I have no idea what to look out for. So I asked Andria Aird, Pharmacist and Partner at Blooms The Chemist, to chat all things boobies – how often we should be self-examining them, tips on how to do it and what to watch out for.
Andria says one of the best ways to catch the early signs of breast cancer is by regularly self-examining your breasts and we should try to do this at least once a month. Yup. So mark it on your calendar ladies and set a regular reminder.
Important things to look out for include a nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple, dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin, and redness, soreness, a rash or swelling (i.e. a lump). So if you see any of these signs, go see your doctor.
How to self-examine your own breasts
1 // Change up positions
When doing a breast self-examination it is important to check your breasts when you are standing, sitting and lying down, and keep a note of any changes between positions.
2 // Be thorough
Don’t forget to use a circular hand motion and make sure you check your whole breast – top to bottom and side to side.
3 // Keep track of any changes
You should also start a journal to record everything you notice about your breasts during a self-examination. This could be a small diagram of your breasts with any notes about lumps or irregularities. As every woman’s breasts are different, a journal is a great way to keep track of what is normal for YOUR breasts and notice any changes from month to month. Remember, it is not uncommon for swelling or lumps to occur at certain times of the month (i.e. while you’re on your period) and then disappear as your body changes with your menstrual cycle.