Updated: Jul 28
Finding out what's normal for you is an excellent place to start with keeping an eye on your breast health. At this point, breast awareness emerges as a crucial next step.
It's essential to learn about common breast problems after determining what is normal for you. Some common symptoms may indicate a more severe sickness, while others are harmless.
Read on for all the information you need about breast health.
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Breast self-awareness is the practice of frequently monitoring your breast health through self-examinations and doctor examinations of what is normal for your breasts.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is usually diagnosed after the onset of symptoms, but the majority of women with the disease have no symptoms.
Thus, we can't stress enough how important it is to be aware of your breasts and get regular exams in order to keep yourself safe from breast cancer.
Breast Check and Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Breast examination is one of the most essential aspects of breast awareness. Therefore, conducting self-exams and routine check-ups with a medical professional is vital.
The goal is for each woman to recognise her normal breast tissue beginning at a young age and promptly report any abnormal changes to a healthcare practitioner.
The following are the methods that are available for regular breast control:
Self-Examination- Conditions of Your Breasts
Once a month, ideally between the fifth and seventh day of the menstrual cycle, a woman should perform a breast self-exam.
Place the right hand behind the head. The exam is done with two or three fingers on the left hand. Starting around the nipple and gently pressing on the breast tissue, clockwise circular movements are used to check for any tenderness or lumps. After the whole breast has been looked at, the armpit is looked at.
Breast cancer imaging aids in the detection of the disease, as well as the assessment of its stage and breadth.
There are four distinct kinds of imaging methods employed:
Screening Mammography: It is basically a low-dose X-ray picture of the breasts.
Diagnostic Mammography: It is an X-ray test that looks for unusual changes in the breast, like a lump, pain, discharge from the nipple, change in size or shape, or a history of breast cancer.
Ultrasonography: Ultrasonography can typically tell if a lump is solid or filled with fluid using high-frequency sound waves.
Breast MRI: The breast can be carefully examined using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI of the breast is painless and does not use radiation. Therefore, most people think the method doesn't pose any health risks.
When a condition is suspected, a biopsy is performed to remove cells or tissue for examination under a microscope for diagnostic or other purposes.
Here are three types of biopsies:
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Biopsy: A woman's lump is sampled with a thin, tiny needle that leaves a mark little larger than a blood test needle stick.
Stereotactic Core Biopsy: It includes compressing your breast like mammography while removing tissue with a biopsy needle.
Needle (Wire) Localisation Biopsy: In this kind of biopsy, the diseased tissue is located using a needle and wire and then surgically removed.
Breast Problems- Common Breast Illnesses
During your breast health journey, it will also be helpful to expand your awareness of breast health by learning about common breast illnesses.
What are eight signs to check for when it comes to breast health?
Painful breasts (mastalgia)
Nipple and breast itchiness
Inflammation of the breast (mastitis)
Benign fibrocystic disease
Fibroadenomas (fibrous lump)
Regarding breast cancer prevention, it is beneficial to know about risk factors. Breast cancer risk may be influenced by various factors, including family history, age, weight, and dietary habits.
Learning about the risk factors affecting breast health and practising preventive care are two essential steps to becoming more aware of breast health.
These risk factors do not necessarily mean you will get breast cancer. Breast cancer can still develop even in women without any of these risk factors.
Here is the ultimate list of known risk factors for breast cancer:
Known Risks for Breast Cancer
Being a woman: Breast cancer is more common in women than men.
Increasing age: The risk of developing cancer rises with age.
Family health history: Having a family member with breast cancer increases your risk of developing the disease.
Personal history of breast conditions and breast cancer: If a breast biopsy reveals lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast, your chance of developing breast cancer is enhanced. Or, having breast cancer in one breast increases the risk of having cancer in another breast.
Being overweight: Being overweight is a risk factor that increases the risk of developing breast cancer and the risk of recurrence after recovery.
Drinking alcohol: Studies have shown that drinking alcoholic beverages also increases the risk of breast cancer.
Radiation to chest or face: Exposure to intense radiation before the age of 30 is also one of the factors that may cause you to be in the risk group.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding history: Long-term breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Menstrual history: Women who menstruate before age 12 are at higher risk of breast cancer.
The density of breasts: Denser breasts pose a greater risk than less dense breasts.
Recommendations for Your Breast Health Journey/ Breast Cancer Care
Numerous women are diagnosed with breast cancer despite the absence of any of the mentioned above risk factors.
Therefore, paying close attention to the condition of your breasts and adopting practices that will improve your health in every way will significantly minimize your risk of developing breast cancer.
6 Ways To Level Up Your Breast Health
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Take Your Vitamin, Especially Vitamin D
Know Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Here, you can see all the details about the ways of improving your breast and body health.
To Sum Up
Breast awareness is one aspect of breast health that every woman should be aware of. You should continue to have check-ups on a regular basis so that you can achieve this level of awareness.
You can check your breasts in three different ways: by performing a self-examination, getting an imaging test, and getting a biopsy.
Self-examination is a check option that can be useful under all circumstances. Conversation with your doctor about the different examination and control options is the healthiest way to go about it.
Knowing about common breast illnesses is another crucial step. Your degree of awareness regarding the health of your breasts will rise if you are able to identify which of these problems you are experiencing or determine whether what you are experiencing is a problem.
For example, painful breasts (mastalgia), breast lumps, breast cysts, nipple discharge, nipple and breast itchiness, inflammation of the breast (mastitis), benign fibrocystic disease, and fibroadenomas (fibrous lump) are common breast illnesses.
Last but not least, it is essential to be aware of the factors that increase one's likelihood of developing breast cancer and make an effort to modify those factors, if possible.
However, even if we cannot alter it, we should always remember that the presence of risk factors does not imply there is an absolute certainty that we will develop cancer.
And we should cultivate good behaviors in order to become the healthiest and most successful versions of ourselves.