check-your-boobies

It is October and National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I look back to when I was a child and remember wanting to purchase yogurt because they had the pink lids. Pink lids. I couldn’t wait to eat as much as I could eat during what was for me a short period of time. Eager to help support the Susan G. Komen foundation, by sending in all the pink lids to the yogurt company.

Why not? I could eat what I loved and do something beautiful for a women in need. The feeling you get as a child to know you did something to help fight against cancer. It was a powerful thing.

In today’s day in age there are different ways you can help support the cause. Donating money, fundraising, purchase different products with the pink logo. Even the NFL shows their support for the cause during this month by all athlete’s and personnel wearing the symbol and color pink somewhere on their helmet, jersey, or gloves.

I will say purchasing something with the logo is my favorite.

There is not a store I don’t go in that has a product with the logo that I do not buy. Even when I may have it already, I still love to grab more to show support. I recently even saw my favorite football team with some new items with the logo for breast cancer awareness on it. I’m sure those items will not be there for long.

Knowing about breast cancer and being proactive is two different stories. There are ways you can be proactive. The most important is to give yourself a monthly self-exam.

What is a breast self-exam? A breast self-exam is an exam performed by yourself not a physician of the surrounding areas of the breast and the breast itself for lumps or abnormalities in your breast.

Breast Self-Exam:

As I was doing some research on the breast self-exam, what became a prominent suggestion was to feel your boobs, regularly. Know how they feel normally. So if there is an abnormality in how they feel you will be able to notice right away. You will be able to understand what feels right and what doesn’t.

My husband even caught me doing my self-exam once. It was rather funny. He was like “what are you doing?” I chuckled. “I’m doing my self-exam.” He understood of course. He just never saw me doing it in the act.

image
Photo Credit: (iTriageHealth)

Here are some steps for you to take in doing your breast self-exam: 

1. First pick how you are going to exam yourself. Standing in front of a mirror, in the shower, or laying down. If you choose not to do it in front of the mirror. Just take a few minutes to exam the breast in front of the mirror visually. Make sure you are standing up straight with your hands on your hips. Look for any changes in size/shape, swelling, or dimpling of the skin.

2. With the method you choose gently probe the breast and surrounding area under the arm with different pressures. There are three patterns to massaging the breast. One pattern is a circular motion around the breast. The second is going in a line in an up and down motion going from the top to the bottom & back again until the whole breast has been checked. The third is massaging the breast going towards the nipple like a wedge.

Signs & Symptoms:

(Photo Credit: Komen Foundation Idaho)
(Photo Credit: Komen Foundation Idaho)

Breast Lumps:

According to the Susan Komen Foundation, Los Angeles, some women may find that their breast have an overall feel of lumpiness and may be no cause for worry. Should you feel a hard lump that feels different then the rest of the breast tissue, you should consult your doctor. Other signs that you should consult your doctor:

  • You feel a lump that is different then the rest of your breast
  • You feel a new lump or change in the way your breast feels
  • You have a change in the way your breast feel than what you previously felt

If you have questions to whether what you feel or see different is of any concern, consult with your physician anyway. You will feel better for getting it check out.

I hope this helps with any questions you may have. Perhaps, even giving you the reminder to do what you know you need to do, your monthly self-exam. I know it is a reminder for me. #SaveOurBoobies

For more information on breast cancer please visit the American Cancer Society, the Susan Komen Foundation, & also consult with your personal physician. 

(Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I researched the topic to provide you with information about this disease.)

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