Most breast cancer patients (almost 75%!) have discovered the disease themselves. Early detection is incredibly important to be able to prevent needing very heavy surgeries and treatment. That’s why team marlies|dekkers is here to remind you to #feelitonthefirst!
The awareness campaign, started by Nalie Agustin, encourages (young) women to self-examine their breasts regularly: every first of the month. Unlike many people think breast cancer does not have an age limit, so let’s team up and remind each other. Self-examine your breasts, snap a selfie, post it with #feelitonthefirst and nominate your friends to do the same. Let’s take our lives into our own hands, literally.
How to do a breast self-exam:
STEP 1: Look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. You’re looking for breasts that are their usual size, shape and color, and that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling. If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention: dimpling, puckering or building of the skin, a nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple, redness, soreness, rash or swelling.
STEP 2: Raise your arms and look for the same changes.
STEP 3: Squeeze your nipples and look for any signs of fluid or discharge coming out of one or both nipples.
STEP 4: Time to feel! Use your right hand to feel your left breast and the other way around. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion to cover the entire breast from top to bottom and side to side, from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. It’s best to do this both while lying down and while standing or sitting, but even a quick check is better than no check. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this in the shower. Plus: you’re just standing there anyway, right?
Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you’ve noticed a lump or other breast change that is new and worrisome. Trust your intuition and get it checked, just in case.
For more information about self-examination, visit www.Breastcancer.org.
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