Breast self-examination (BSE) is a simple, noninvasive procedure that can be performed by women at home to assess the health of their breasts. It is recommended that all women over the age of 20 perform BSE monthly.
There are several reasons why women may not practice BSE, including lack of time, self-confidence, fear of finding a lump, and embarrassment. However, BSE is an important tool for early detection of breast cancer, which can improve the chances of survival.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. It is the most common cancer among women, and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. However, when breast cancer is detected early, it is often curable.
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer can vary, but some of the most common include:
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- A change in the shape or size of the breast
- Dimpling of the skin of the breast
- A change in the color or texture of the skin of the breast
- A nipple discharge
- A change in the position of the nipple
- Pain in the breast or armpit
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early detection of breast cancer is essential for improving the chances of survival.
How to Perform BSE
To perform BSE, you will need to:
- Stand in front of a mirror and look at your breasts for any changes in size, shape, or color.
- Raise your arms above your head and look for any changes in the skin of your breasts.
- Lie down on your back and use your opposite hand to examine each breast.
- Press your fingers gently in a circular motion around your entire breast, including the nipple.
- Pay attention to any lumps, bumps, or changes in the texture of your breast tissue.
You should perform BSE every month, preferably at the same time of the month. This will help you to become familiar with the normal feel of your breasts so that you can more easily detect any changes.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting your alcohol intake
- Not smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting regular mammograms
If you are concerned about your risk of breast cancer, talk to your doctor. They can help you to assess your risk and develop a plan to reduce it.
BSE is a simple, but important, way to detect breast cancer early. If you are over the age of 20, it is recommended that you perform BSE monthly. By doing so, you can help to improve your chances of early detection and survival.