Whether there is a history of breast cancer in your family or you want to monitor your health so that you stay on top of issues that could arise in the future, one of the things that you can do each month is to perform a few simple examinations at home to check for breast cancer. This is a type of cancer that can begin with a small lump that might not be felt right away but that can quickly spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body. Treatment options can include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery depending on the stage of your cancer and whether the cancer is genetic or not.
Keep in mind that not every type of breast cancer can be detected by a self-examination. However, with routine exams, you can notice if there are any changes in your breasts from month to month. Try to perform a breast exam at home on a regular schedule. Choose a day each month that is easy to remember, such as the first or the last day or a few days after your menstrual cycle ends as your breasts won’t be as swollen or tender.
Understand the various neighborhoods associated with your breasts. These include the upper areas as well as the areas near your armpit. This neighborhood of your breasts tends to be where more lumps can develop instead of in the lower neighborhoods or near your nipple. Areas in the lower part of your breasts might feel like small pebbles or sand if there are any signs of cancer present.
Make a journal so that you can record how your breasts feel when you perform your examination and when you examine your breasts. Try to take pictures that you can include as well to notice any physical changes that might be present from one month to another. Write a few details about what’s normal for your body so that you know of what to look for and what should alert you as to when to call a doctor. There could be small lumps that form during the month, but these lumps should go away on their own. If you notice any lump that is hard, that doesn’t seem to move, or that gets larger, then you should consider getting a mammogram to determine if breast cancer is present.
Schedule a consultation today to talk about your options and to talk about the tests available to detect breast cancer if you are concerned. We also offer MonaLisa Touch® treatments for women who have gone through menopause. Fort Worth Center for Pelvic Medicine is conveniently located in Fort Worth, TX.