It seems like a silly question. But think about it, when was the last time you closely examined your breasts? We just had a patient in here the other day who noticed a small mole on her breast and said, “Hmmm, I’ve never noticed that before!” What is interesting about Breast Cancer Awareness month, is that there is so many benefits, walks, and fundraisers to spread awareness around the community but so often women forget about themselves. We see ourselves naked everyday, but rarely take a minute to see what’s going on with our breasts. We know so many women that sported pink and supported friends and family members that are battling breast cancer last month but if you asked them when the last time they checked their breasts, most likely it hasn’t been recently.
So this post is about self breast awareness. You should not only perform a breast self-exam every month, but you should also practice becoming familiar with your breasts so you can recognize what is normal and what isn’t. Unfortunately, so many women just check for lumps and you don’t need to have a lump to have breast cancer. It comes in many forms. Here are some things to look for.
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your provider immediately.