Almost every woman is concerned about how she looks and, of course, about how her breasts look. Absolutely no one had doubts that women’s breasts are the subject of increased attention and sexual interest in men. Representatives of the fair sex care about their breasts, but as the medical practice show, often only in terms of beauty. But on the first place should be the health, than the beauty. Because the amount of females diagnosed with “breast cancer” is growing every year.
Mammary gland cancer is the most widespread malignancy in women that causes the greatest concern and is characterized by the ability to metastasize actively and its very aggressive growth. Worldwide each year diagnose about one million of new cases of the illness, every year die from it about half a million women.
Could a lady detect this sickness if she is not skilled in medicine? It turns out this is not necessary. The major task is to disclose any alterations in her breasts.
Self examination, especially for the early revealing of disorders such as cancer, is necessary. In this activity should be engaged every female, regardless of age, every morning, carefully touching her breasts. It is best to conduct this test in the shower when the chest is completely covered with soap, then probing will be much easier. It should be performed in a few simple phases:
Phase 1: examination of the underwear
Allocations from nipples may remain unseen on its surface, but leave stains on the lingerie. Thus, it must be carefully examined: whether on it are stains of blood, brown, greenish or yellowish spots.
Phase 2: general appearance
1. Strip from the neck down, stand in front of a mirror. Freely lower your arms. Carefully inspect each gland in the mirror. Check for any alterations in the size, shape, and outlines (one gland may be slightly bigger, that’s totally fine). Please note the symmetry of both glands. Are they on the same level, do they move uniformly when you’re lifting and crossing the hands behind your head, when tilting, turning to the right and left? Is there a fixation or displacement of one of the glands on any side?
2. Raise your hands up in front of a mirror. Once again check the breasts alternately, paying attention to their shift up, to the sides or down; alterations in the form, nipples or skin retraction; pay attention to an increase or decrease of the size, retraction, changing in the color or shape, ulcers, crusts, scales on the skin of the breast or nipples. Particular attention should be paid to the state of the nipple and areola (involving, any change in the form, swelling, ulcer). You must pay attention to the presence of swelling in the neck area or hands this may indicate a violation of the lymph flow.
Phase 3: the skin condition
Is the skin flexible, is it folding easily?
Check for any thickenings, swelling, dimples or humps. Do not take the breast tissue folds between the fingers, as through its segmental structure may give the improper impression of tumor seal.
Phase 4: test in a standing position
This phase is convenient to perform in the washroom. With your right hand inspect the left breast, and vice versa. Probation is carried out with the finger pads instead of the fingertips, with 4 or 3 serried fingers in a circular motion. If your breasts are big, hold it with an opposite hand. First make so-called shallow probing when the fingers do not penetrate the thickness of glands which makes it possible to detect small tumors, located directly under the skin. Then, a deeper probing, when fingers consistently reach the ribs. Palpation should be done from the collarbone to the bottom of the ribs and the sternum to the axillary line, including the armpit, where you may detect enlarged lymph nodes.
Phase 5: test in the laying position
This is the crucial phase of the self test because that’s the only way to inspect all the tissues thoroughly. Notice, how are the breasts to the touch and remember those feelings. Lying on a relatively solid, flat surface; you can put under an inspected gland a roller or a hard pillow, pull the opposite hand along the torso or behind the head. We offer two methods of palpation:
1. Method of squares: the anterior surface of the chest wall from the collarbone to the rib edge and the mammary gland is conditionally divided into small squares. A survey is carried sequentially in each square down, like stairs.
2. The method of helix: when the breasts screening is carried along the spiral in the form of concentric circles, from the armpit to the nipple. Finger pads are making circular motions, moving toward the nipple.
Phase 6: test of the nipples
You need to disclosure if there are alterations their form and color, are they retracted. Are there any wet areas, sores or cracks. You must probe a nipple itself the area under it. This area is quite sensitive in females and in some is accompanied by erotic or unpleasant sensations. Finally you must gently squeeze a nipple between the thumb and forefinger. Is there any allocations?
If you think that since the previous test there have been noticeable changes, you must immediately consult a physician.
Females of reproductive age should carry out a monthly self test about a week after the start of the regular menstrual cycle (days 7-10). With irregular menstruation and during menopause self test is carried every month on certain days. A female of reproductive age should try to choose the days when her breasts are at rest, there is no swell and they do not hurt and so on.
Self testing of the breasts is the first and most important step in detecting breast cancer early. And early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances of a woman for a complete cure.