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Monday, May 17, 2021

Self-Check to Save Lives: Early Detection of Breast Cancer Matters

Patience Marks, WHNP-BC

 


If a problem can’t be seen, it can’t be solved. The earlier a health condition is detected, the sooner steps can be taken to treat it. And though facing fears around diseases can be challenging, early detection of breast cancer, for example, can mean a 99% five-year survival rate, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

 

Regular breast self-exams (BSEs) can help you become more familiar with your breasts so that subtle changes are more easily detectable, which could identify possible warning signs of cancer early on.

 

Tips for Breast Self-Exams

 

·         Perform your BSE at the same time each month, but not during your cycle.

·         Check breasts twice, both while lying down and while standing up.

·         Look for any changes in size or color.

·         With the inner pads of your three middle fingers, use a circular or up and down motion across each breast.

·         Feel for any lumps or thickening of the breast. These aren’t necessarily indications of cancer but should be reported to your health care provider right away.

 

Holistic Care

BSEs are just one of the exams that we recommend women have on a regular basis to improve their chances of early detection and treatment, as well as for overall health and quality of life. Others include Pap smears, breast and pelvic exams, mammograms, bone density screening and STD tests.

 

At Women’s Health Associates, we offer annual well-woman checkups that include lifestyle and risk factor discussions, a physical exam and any other necessary tests.

 

As an active participant in your own healthcare, you can help your providers detect and treat conditions at their earliest signs. Check your breasts monthly to reduce your risks and take control of your own health. To schedule an exam, or if you have questions about breast exams, gynecology, menopause, pregnancy or other women’s health issues, contact us today.