Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital

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Prevention

The most important risk factors for the development of breast cancer are gender, age, and genetics. Because women can do nothing about these risks, regular screening is recommended in order to allow early detection and thus prevent death from breast cancer.

Regular screening includes breast self-examination, clinical breast examination, and mammography.

  • Breast self-examination (BSE) is cheap and easy. Breast self-examination (BSE) should be done once a month to become familiar with the usual appearance and feel of your breasts. Familiarity makes it easier to notice any changes in the breast from one month to another. Early discovery of a change from what is “normal” is the main idea behind BSE. The outcome is much better if you detect cancer at an early stage.
  • For women who are menstruating, the best time for examination is immediately after the monthly period.
  • For women who are not menstruating or whose periods are extremely irregular, picking a certain date each month seems to work best.

Breast Self Examination – The Correct Technique

Step 1

Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Here′s what you should look for:

  • breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color.
  • breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling.
  • If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor′s attention:
  • dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin.
  • a nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple
  • (pushed inward instead of sticking out).
  • redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Step 2

Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Step 3

While you′re at the mirror, gently squeeze each nipple between your finger and thumb and check for nipple discharge this could be fluid or Blood.

Step 4

Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together.

Cover the entire breast from:

  • top to bottom- collarbone to the top of your abdomen, &
  • side to side—from your armpit to your cleavage

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast.

  • You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast.
  • You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn.

Be sure to feel all the breast tissue: just beneath your skin with a soft touch and down deeper with a firmer touch. Begin examining each area with a very soft touch, and then increase pressure so that you can feel the deeper tissue, down to your ribcage

The correct technique of palpation is with the flat of the fingers and not the tip of fingers

Step 5

Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4. Also feel for glands in your armpits.

For women of Reproductive age group the best time to do BSE is between 7 -10 days after period starts, when your breasts are least likely to be tender or swollen. If you no longer menstruate, pick a particular day, such as the first Sunday of the month, to remind yourself “it is time to do BSE”.

  • Annual Health Check-up including Breast Examination by a trained surgeon / gynaecologist
  • Breast screening with Mammography and Ultrasound (in young woman)
  • FNAC / Needle Biopsy / Core Biopsy, wherever indicated

Do not Despair! If detected early, breast cancer IS curable

  • Newer diagnostic modalities can aid early detection
  • Better surgical options can help preservation of the breast
  • Primary Breast reconstruction helps in psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Newer drugs are available for treating the disease
  • The goal should be to understand your risk factors and modify them
  • Detect it at an early stage to enjoy the possibility of a cure

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