Breast Cancer: self-awareness that can save our lives
Since some breasts are firmer in some places and softer in other areas, it's a good idea to have a good idea of what's normal for you.
The American Cancer Society states that a person has a 99% chance of surviving breast cancer if it is found before it has spread outside the breast.
This is why it is so important to carry out self-examinations and go to routine medical appointments because the sooner an abnormality is detected, the better the treatment.
Also, by having a healthy standard of living of something known as “breast self-awareness” we will have a better chance of saving our lives.
According to Dr. Tracy-Ann Moo, a surgical breast oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, breast self-awareness is vital.
In an interview for The Grio, he explains that doctors encourage women to win because it is about understanding what is normal for their breasts . Gaining this self-awareness means knowing how your breasts feel on a regular basis and how that may change hormonally, for example during your menstrual cycle.
“Instead of going through this regimented [breast self-exam] once a month, in this position, in that position, it's really about being more aware of your breasts and how they feel,” Dr. Moo tells theGrio.
All women can awaken their self-awareness
Breast self-awareness can be achieved by touching and looking at your breasts regularly. Dr. Moo recommends palpating the entire breast starting in the armpits.
A good strategy he suggests is to think of each breast as a cake, with the nipple being the center of the cake. Then work your way from the edge of the chest to the center and repeat until you feel each "slice" of cake.
According to the specialist, it is ideal to do this when we are relaxing at the end of the day with our feet up and it could even become part of your preparation routine or when applying body lotion.
“In the past, we recommended doing it in the shower, going round and round [at the breast], doing it once a month (...) It would cause a lot of anxiety in patients,” he said.
Women who notice differences in their breasts often see their doctor later.
Any abnormalities need to be looked for, so you need a good idea of what your breasts are normally like. Since some breasts are firmer in some places and softer in other areas, you'll want to be certain what's normal for you, including the size of each breast, the firmness, and the color of your areolas and nipples.