The Importance of Self-examination for Breast Cancer
Early Detection Saves Lives
Early detection is instrumental in increasing breast cancer survival rates. Self-examination allows women to
become familiar with their breasts, making it easier to identify any changes. When abnormalities are detected early, there is a higher likelihood of successful treatment, less aggressive therapy options, and improved long-term outcomes. Regular self-examination can make a significant difference in catching breast cancer in its early stages.
The ABCs of Self-Examination
Self-examination involves a few simple steps that can be performed monthly. These steps, known as the ABCs of self-examination, need only take a few minutes:
1. A – Awareness: Become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. Note any changes such as lumps, thickening, redness, or skin changes.
2. B – Borders: Feel for any irregularities along the breast and underarm area, paying attention to any changes in lump size, shape, or texture.
3. C – Compression: Gently squeeze the breast tissue using varying levels of pressure to check for any discharge, nipples changes, or pain.
Consultation and Regular Screening
While self-examination is an important tool for early detection, consulting with a healthcare professional and undergoing regular screenings is equally crucial. Mammograms and clinical breast exams should be carried out as recommended by healthcare guidelines, as these procedures can detect breast abnormalities that may not be noticeable during self-examination.
Self-examination is an empowering practice that puts women in control of their breast health. By being familiar with their own bodies, women can detect early signs of breast cancer and seek prompt medical attention. Remember, self-examination is not a substitute for regular screenings but an important complement that enhances the chances of detecting breast cancer at its early stages. Be proactive, know your ABCs, and together we can fight breast cancer.
1. American Cancer Society. (2021). Breast Cancer Early Detection and Diagnosis. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection.html
2. National Cancer Institute. (2021). Breast
Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/patient/breast-screening-pdq