A self examination allows early detection of abnormalities because it provides the opportunity for you to get to know what your breasts are normally like.
How to do a self-examination:
The exam is done while lying down, not standing up because breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall and is as thin as possible making it much easier to feel all the tissue.
1. Lie down and place your right arm behind your head.
2. Use the finger pads of the 3 middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Use overlapping dime-sized circular motions of the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.
3. Use 3 different levels of pressure to feel all the tissue. Light pressure if needed to feel the tissue closest to the skin; medium pressure allows you to feel a little deeper and firm pressure feels the tissues closest to the chest and ribs. It is normal to feel a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast.
4. Move around the breast in an up and down pattern and moving across the breast to the middle of the chest bone. Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collar bone.
5. Repeat the above steps on your left breast, putting your left arm behind your head and using the finger pads of your right hand.
6. While standing in front of a mirror with your hands pressing firmly down on your hips, look at your breasts for any abnormal changes in size, shape, contour, dimpling, redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin.
Eating Right for Breast Health
There are many foods both common and exotic that boast nutrients that can potentially help prevent breast cancer. Below is a list of 5 common foods that are easily accessible globally and all year round:
- Eat a raw onion or leek and 1-3 cloves of garlic daily or slow cook them in soup
- Garlic has been proven to inhibit the growth of both estrogen receptor positive and ER negative breast cancer cells and helps prevent the initiation, promotion and recurrence of many forms of cancer.
- Consume tomatoes at least twice a week
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which stalls cell division in cancer cells
- Make citrus fruits a regular part of your diet
- Citrus fruits contains limonene which studies have shown to prevent breast cancer caused by environmental chemicals and shrink existing tumors
- Dried beans especially lentils contain cancer-inhibiting enzymes that prevent the development and recurrence of breast cancer
- These foods are high in potassium which helps cellular detoxification