Breast Cancer Awareness

About one out of eight women in the US is diagnosed with breast cancer and the rate increases over time.

The problem becomes more serious when many women don’t realize that they already have cancer and fighting it becomes harder. In order to attack cancer on time is recommended to perform breast self exams once a month and also mammograms once a year. Now, what happens when we have breast implants?

According to many doctors and despite misperceptions, breast with breast implants do breast self-examination even easier because the implant will push the breast forward and lumps or any changes in the breast will be more visible or palpable.

The breast self exam, with or without implants, will be as follows:

Step 1: In front of the mirror:

  • Observe your breast with your shoulders straight and your arms on your waist or hips.
  • Try to look for any change in color, size or shape. Also check your nipples and determine if you see any change in shape or fluid coming out of the nipples.
  • Raise your arms on top of your head and look for the same changes.
  • Contact your doctor if you notice any variation.

Step 2: Lying down:

  • When lying down you need to feel your right breast with your left arm while the other arm is underneath your head. Try to look for any bump. Then repeat it with your other breast.
  • You need to make sure you are covering the entire breast, from your nipples, from top to the bottom and side to side.

Contact your doctor if you notice any changes.

Step 3: In the shower:

  • This is actually the same procedure as step 2, although you would have to be standing in the shower. The water can make easier to feel variations in your breast as the skin is more slippery.

Again, contact your doctor if you feel anything unusual.

Additionally, doctors insist to perform an annual mammography. With breast implants, this procedure is slightly different as the doctor would have to apply an additional type of view in the exam to fully visualize the breast tissue.

The recommendation is a diagnostic mammography, rather than a screening mammography, which have shown significant limitations when used for imaging augmented breasts. Mammograpy should be performed every year starting at age 40. Women at higher risk may need to get screened earlier and more frequently. Among women ages 30 to 39 with symptoms of possible breast cancer ultrasound is a superior diagnostic tool for cancer detection than mammography.

Let’s become conscious about the early detection as this could save our lives.

Image: Breast cancer awareness by williami5

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