Lifestyle

A Guide to Breast Self-Exams

Keep abreast about issues concerning your body.

It's our responsibility to know how to conduct a breast self-exam. The best time to examine your breasts would be two or three days after your period, when your breasts are least likely to be tender or swollen. If you do not have regular periods, pick a day, such as the first day of each month, to remind yourself that you need to perform a BSE.

  1. Looking Into a Mirror
    Place your hands at the side. Look carefully for changes in the size, shape, and contour of each breast. Look for puckering, dimpling or changes in skin texture. Also, gently squeeze both nipples and look for discharge. Repeat the exam with your hands on your hips, then above your head.

  2. In the Shower
    Raise your left arm. Use your right hand to examine your left breast. With fingers flat, touch every part of the breast, gently feeling for lumps or a thickening. Press firmly, starting at the outermost top edge of your breast and spiraling in toward the nipple. Examine every part of the breast. Repeat the exam using your left hand to examine your right breast.

  3. Lying Down
    Place a pillow or towel under your left shoulder and put your left hand behind your head. With fingers flat, press firmly on your left breast with your right hand. Start at the outermost top edge of your breast and spiral in toward the nipple. Examine every part of the breast. Repeat the exam using your left hand to examine your right breast.

  4. Sitting Down
    With your arm resting on a firm surface in front of you, use the same circular motion to examine your armpits. This area is also breast tissue.

    If you notice anything unusual in your monthly exams, see your doctor. Keep in mind that breast lumps or other changes do not necessarily indicate breast cancer, especially in pre-menopausal women. However, your doctor will want to perform an exam and possibly order tests to determine whether you have breast cancer or not.

Fact Versus Fiction
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, but did you know even men get it? Surprised? Read on to separate fact from fiction, reality from myth.

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Fiction
All breast lumps are cancerous.

Fact
In general, 80% of lumps are caused by benign (non-cancerous) changes in the breast. This percentage tends to fluctuate with age. For young women, more than 80% of breast lumps are benign. As a woman ages, her risk of developing breast cancer increases.

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Elaine Dela Cruz 18 hours ago

When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.

You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.

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You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?

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