October is traditionally colored in pink.
Since 1985, worldwide, the tenth month of the year is dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in women, which is the most common type of cancer among the female population, affecting up to 10% of women at some stage in their lives.
Encouragingly, early detection in many cases leads to successful treatment and overcoming the disease. Raising awareness and regular check-ups are crucial for effective treatment and early detection.
In addition to regular medical check-ups, one way you can detect any of the listed symptoms yourself is through regular self-examination. The self-examination procedure is simple and takes about 10 minutes, at least once a month. All you need to do is carefully follow these six steps:
1.Start the self-examination in front of a mirror. Raise your arms above your head and check for changes in the symmetry of your breasts, the position of your nipples, or any changes in appearance and skin color.
2. Repeat the same examination with your hands placed on your hips.
3. Raise one arm up and, with the other hand, make circular motions to go over the surface of your breasts one by one. Check for unusual protrusions/dimples, lumps, changes in skin texture, or secretions.
4. Using your thumb and forefinger, check the nipples and the skin around the nipples. Note if there are changes in shape and surface texture, unusual redness, or lumps.
5. Don’t forget to check the peripheral areas from under the collarbone to under the breasts and from the breastbone to under the armpits, including these areas.
6. Finally, perform the examination in a lying down position. Raise your left arm above your head while using your right hand to feel your left breast and the surrounding area, using different levels of pressure.
Repeat the same process on the right side.
Regular self-examination is the first step you can take, complemented by regular medical check-ups and consultations with healthcare professionals. For women in the age groups of 40 to 50 years, regular mammograms are particularly important, recommended every two years, while women above 50 years should have a mammogram annually.
Educate yourself about the symptoms, act preventively, and remember that, no matter how dynamic your daily life is, taking care of your health should always be a priority.
Breast self-examination can save lives!