A breast self exam (BSE) is one of the best methods of early warning against cancerous breast conditions. Every woman should know how to perform a thorough BSE and must practice this examination throughout her adult life. No one will ever be more in tune with your body than you are and no one will be in a better position to discover any signs of abnormal breast symptoms. Learning the facts about BSE is knowledge which might actually save your life.
This vital guide instructs women how to perform self exams on the breasts. Be sure to read it carefully and share it with those you love.
Breast Self Exam Defined
BSE is actually a series of manual exams which check for lumps or other signs of disease in the breast. The tests are not painful and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
BSE is simple, effective and has been credited in saving millions of lives worldwide.
Women should learn to do a BSE long before they are at an elevated risk for developing breast cancer. This way, a woman will have years of experience examining her breasts and will be very alert to changes which occur as she ages.
BSE should be performed monthly, after your period is over.
Breast Exam Warning Signs
The most obvious warning signs of a potentially hazardous breast condition will be noticeable upon casual observation. These signs include:
- Unusual texture on the breast skin.
- Nipple discharge
- Sudden nipple inversion or change in nipple shape or projection.
- Dimpling in the breast or a sunken area in the skin.
- Visual bump or projection on the breast, underarm or clavicle.
Less obvious signs might require palpation to discover. This is precisely why the BSE is so very important. The most common potentially serious condition discovered by a BSE is a small lump in the breast. This type of lump might not be visible and might not be obvious to casual touch. The BSE utilizes techniques which will find the majority of small interior growths faster than they would normally be discovered.
How to Perform a Breast Self Exam
The BSE procedure has changed many times over the years. The current version endorses 2 very easy techniques to simplify the procedure for all women.
Lie on your back and place your left arm over your head. Use your right hand to examine your left breast using the end pads of your 3 middle fingers. Begin at the underarm on the outer edge of the breast. Use small circular motions to examine the breast tissue, applying enough pressure to feel into the tissue, without causing pain. Sweep up and down the breast from top to bottom, overlapping the last set of circles until the entire breast has been scanned. Up and down is better than side to side. Make sure to examine from the collarbone to the rib under each breast, including the underarm and the cleavage. When complete, repeat on the opposite side.
After finishing the reclining breast exam, sit or stand to allow the breasts to hang. Once again, simply feel around the tissue for any noticeable lumps or bumps. Raise the left arm slightly, so the elbow is still pointing down, and feel under the arm. Repeat on the opposite side.
Some women do not perform regular BSE for one reason: They are scared. While this is completely understandable, it is illogical and might lead to unfortunate consequences.
Finding a lump in the breast is incredibly frightening, but not finding it will allow the condition to proceed unchecked, until it might be too late.
Early detection of cancerous and precancerous conditions is crucial to ensure successful treatment. Allowing a tumor to develop and spread is the most dangerous thing a woman can do to her health.
Be smart and wise. Be brave. Take charge of your life and your health.
Perform regular BSE’s as part of a health maintenance and cancer prevention program. If you do find something suspicious during a BSE, get the condition checked immediately.
The vast majority of BSE discoveries turn out to be nothing at all or a benign breast growth. If it turns out that you did find breast cancer during your BSE, you can at least begin treatment right away.
Early detection saves lives.
To learn more about BSE and how it can help preserve your health, talk to your doctor or gynecologist today.