Every person should know the symptoms and signsof breast cancer, and any time an abnormality is discovered, it should be investigated by a healthcare professional.. Early warning signs of breast cancer may involve the discovery of a new lump or a change in the breast tissue or skin.
Women should perform a self breast-exam each month and any changes or abnormalities should be discussed with a doctor or physician. You can perform a breast exam in the shower, in front of a mirror, or lying down. If you perform it in the shower, Use 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. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. In front of a mirror, you want to inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides and the raise your arms high overhead. Look for changes in contour, any swelling or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Lying down, the breast tissue spreads evenly along the chest. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Use the left hand and move the pads of your fingers around your right breast in a circular motion covering the entire breast area and armpit. Then do the same for the left side. Any noticeable changes or lumps should be evaluated by your healthcare provider.
A clinical breast exam is performed by a qualified nurse or doctor. A healthcare professional will check for lumps or other physical changes in the breast that may need to be investigated. A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas that may be found by the breast exam. Mammograms can show a lump before it can be felt. They also show tiny clusters of calcium. Lumps or specks can be caused by cancer, fatty cells, or other conditions like cysts. Further testing may be needed to find out if abnormal cells are present. Women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years.
Leading a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk factors for breast cancer and other illnesses. Some habits that can help reduce your risks are:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Eat Fruits and vegetables
- Do not smoke
- Limit Alcohol consumption