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Dicas de Saúde  »  Self-exam of the breast

Why do this?

There are many good reasons to self-examine your breasts once a month. One of these is that breast cancer can be treated and cured more easily if it is detected early. Another is that if you do the exam every month this improves your confidence andprecision when doing it. When you know how your breasts are in the normal state, you will immediately recognize any alteration. Another reason is that it is easy to do.

When to do it?

The best time to do your own check-up of the breasts is approximately a week after menstruation, when they aren´t soft or swollen. If you don´t have normal menstrual periods, or sometimes pass a month without them, do the check-up always on the same day of the month.

How to do it?

1. Lean up and place a pillow below the left shoulder. Place the right arm behind your head. (fig. 01)

2. Use the tips of your middle fingers of the left hand to discover any alteration in the texture, the fingertips are on the third top part of each finger.

3. Press your fingers strong enough in order to stroke the breasts, if you are not sure that you can stroke so strong, consult your doctor,and try to imitate the way the doctor uses his fingers during the exam.

4. Stroke around the breasts always in the same way. This can be done in the form of a circle (A), or a line which goes up and down (B), or even with triangular movements, starting from the middle towards the edges (C). Doing this exam every month will help you to assure yourself that the whole breast has been stroked and remind you how you felt before. (fig. 02)

5. Now examine your left breast using the tips of the fingers in your right hand.

6. If you notice any difference in any of them, consult your doctor immediately.

For greater Security:

Examine your breast standing still in front of the mirror, after the monthly self-examination. See if there is any alteration in their appearence, or formation of lumps on the skin or alterations in the nipples, redness or swelling. Try another test in the bath, with your soapy hands sliding over the humid skin, the exam becomes easier. (fig. 03)

This self exam can save your breasts and your life.
The majority of the breast alterations are detected by the women themselves, and they don´t always mean cancer..

See for yourself.


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