One of the steps in an early diagnosis of breast cancer is self-examination. The techniques used to find small abnormalities in the breast are making a great difference for many women. Although medications have been refined there are still debilitating side effects, so early detection in most cases limits their use and greatly improves the overall health of women diagnosed with cancer. Finding these small lumps in the breast can greatly increase the efficacy of the least invasive surgeries and limit the need for some breast cancer medication.
Less than 20 years ago, more women were finding breast cancer diagnosis’s after the cancer had taken hold and spread to other organs, and limiting the chances of surviving the initial disease. With the advances in cancer research and an aggressive media campaign to provide breast cancer info to the general public, many more women are seeking early diagnostic exams and helping to lower the instances of mortality, according to breast cancer statistics.
Self examination training can be found on many medical websites but it is best to talk to your doctor and learn the correct procedures. Women also need to know to look for more than just lumps. Any change in the shape or size of the breasts must also be noted and can only be detected if the self-exam is conducted on a regular basis.
One of the ways to do this is to stand in front of a mirror, with arms relaxed at your sides. Now, look at both breasts, but don’t be alarmed if they are slightly different in size, most women’s breasts are not identical. Look for changes like puckering around the nipples, differences in color, or sores. Now, bend forward facing the mirror and roll your shoulders and elbows forward to tighten your chest muscles and look for changes in contour. Do the same looking at each side carefully for these abnormalities.
Finding a lump or other abnormalities doesn’t always indicate that cancer is present. Women of all ages can find benign fibrous tumors or cysts caused by any number of reasons. However, only through a doctor’s evaluation can these be determined. And if breast cancer is the diagnosis there have been huge advances in breast cancer medication and treatments that have saved thousands of lives. The most important factor in cancer survival rates is seeking medical treatment as soon as possible. The earlier that treatment can take place the better the overall chances for survival and in many cases total remission.
Once you have visually checked your breasts and noted any changes or problems identified above, it is time to feel for thickening or lumps under the skin. For the best results, it is best to have your doctor explain all the steps to make sure you are doing this part of the exam correctly. In all cases the technique and steps are paramount in finding breast cancer early.
Further research shows that breast cancer statistics have greatly improved in the areas of mortality over the last 10 to 15 years. Early diagnosis begins with the individual and with the internet there is reliable breast cancer info to be found. This is good news for thousands of women and their families and a triumph for the doctors and researchers that have worked tirelessly to prevent early death from this type of cancer.