Over the past few years, Breast cancer has become a cause of worry in the medical fraternity, as the disease is spreading at an alarming rate. Every year, more and more women are reported to be suffering from the disease, which is fatal in advanced stages. The current situation is aggravated because there is very less awareness about it amongst women. Most of the women who are suffering from breast cancer do not even come to know of it, until it is too late. However, this can be avoided by being prepared for the same. To know how to detect breast cancer at home, read about the signs and symptoms given below.
Signs and Symptoms
To be able to detect breast cancer at home, one should know the signs and symptoms for breast cancer. However, a symptom should not be the only reason to coax you to examine your breast for cancer. You should undertake self examination after a regular period of time, as it will enable you to track any anomaly as soon as it occurs. Given below are the signs and symptoms for breast cancer.
- A lump or thickening in an area of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling of the skin
- Change in the shape of your nipple, specifically if it turns in, sinks into the breast or becomes irregular in shape
- A blood-stained discharge from the nipple
- A rash on a nipple or surrounding area
- A lump or swelling in your armpit
Detect Breast Cancer at Home
To detect breast cancer at home, one should conduct breast self exam. This exam is the best way to keep the problem at bay or at least to keep you informed about the coming problem. Self exam should be started in your 20’s and should be conducted once a month. Go for the test four-five days after your menstrual cycle is over. For older women who have stopped menstruating, conduct the test at the same date every month, as it is easy to memorize.
One can perform the breast self exam, in the shower, in front of the mirror as well as while lying down. In the shower, gently move your fingers flat on each breast to locate any lump, knot or thickening. Next step is to stand in front of the mirror, undress and examine your breasts with your arms at your side and also with your arms raised overhead. Look for any change in size, shape, swelling or reddening. Lastly, examine your breast while lying down.
Lie down on a flat surface facing upwards, with a pillow just under your shoulder and right arm behind your head. With your left hand and fingers examine your right breast, pressing it gently in circular motions, covering the whole breast area. Repeat the exercise with light, medium and firm pressure. Squeeze nipples to check for any abnormal discharge such as bloodstained discharge, or any lump. Moreover, if you experience pain while performing the test, consult a doctor, though pain is not always a sign of breast cancer.