How to Self-Examine For Breast Cancer

Tomi Huber

It is important for everyone, male and female, to be aware of their risk to breast cancer. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. To be aware of your own potential risk to breast cancer you should learn your family’s exposure history and perform a routine self-examination. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are found by women while performing a self-examination. Here are three steps you should perform every month to make sure you aren’t at risk:

  1. breastcheckMove the pads of your fingers in a circular motion around the entire chest and armpit area in the shower. If you feel a knot or lump in that area, immediately set up an appointment with a doctor.
  2. Stand in front of the mirror with your arms at your side and examine your breasts. Then, raise up your arms to check the armpit area. Next, put your hands on your hips and flex your chest muscles. While doing this, look for changes on one side of your breast but not the other, swelling and dimpling of the skin or nipples. That being said, remember that your left and right breast do not look exactly the same.
  3. Position yourself on a flat surface, place a pillow under your right shoulder and put the same arm behind your head. Use the pads of the fingers on your left hand to feel the right breast and armpit area in the same circular motion that was mentioned in the first step. Vary the amount of pressure you use, and squeeze the nipple to check for lumps and/or discharge. Repeat this step on the left side.

Did You Know?

Carrying your cell phone in your bra has been known to cause a tumor in the breast that could become malignant. The radiation that comes from a mobile phone or any wireless device can form a tumor underneath the skin where it is resting. Men are also at risk if they put their phone in their shirt pockets. While this isn’t a leading cause of breast cancer, it is something to think about.

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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