Many women usually associate breast cancer with old women, and therefore, some young women fail to do breast self exam to check on their condition, let alone having mammogram test. However, young women are not free from breast cancer risk, and in some cases, the fatality risk is even bigger when a young woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Reasons to Do Breast Self Exam
Young women should not hesitate to do self exam, and should not be afraid of finding something that might be signs of breast cancer. Not all lumps or abnormality on breasts are cancer, and even if it is cancer, knowing early can increase the hope for 100 percent success in treatment. Here are good reasons why young women must perform breast exam:
- Young women usually experience the more aggressive form of breast cancer. Therefore, the more often the self exam being performed, the bigger chance for young women to find out if there is something more, which means they can get help and treatment quicker.
- Mammogram test is usually recommended for women in their 40s, so if young women never perform breast self exam, they are in bigger risk of having diagnosed with later stage of breast cancer, which means that the treatment will be more difficult.
- Breast cancer in young women is actually very common, because this is one of the most common forms of cancer that is known to be found at women in many ages. Therefore, early diagnosis with self exam is important.
- Young women have thicker breast tissue layer compared to older women, which makes the diagnosis through breast self exam easier. The younger you start doing breast self exam, the easier to detect any abnormalities, because you already know the look and feel of your breasts.
Remember, doing self exam is not enough. If you find any abnormalities, you should go to the doctor immediately. Just because there is a lump in the breast, does not mean that it is cancer.
How to Do Breast Self Exam
Breast self exam is easy to do and only take about 10 to 15 minutes, with the help of pillow and mirror. Here is how you do it:
- Lay down on flat surface, put pillow under right shoulder. Put right arm under the head. Trace your right breast with 3 fingers of left hand, using circular motion with slight pressure to check if there are any abnormalities or irregularities.
- After circling the breast, move the fingers toward the underarm. Afterward, repeat all the steps with the right breast (change the arm and pillow position to the other side).
- Stand in front of mirror topless and put the right arm behind shoulder. Continue to trace your breast with 3 fingers of left hand, just like the very first step. Change the arm position and trace the left breast with 3 fingers of right hand.
- Finally, squeeze each nipple to see if there is abnormal discharge.
Do the breast self exam every month at the same date, but not during period (if you are in period, do it several days after it is over). You can also do breast self exam with female friend or family member for better accuracy and support.