3-Steps Plan for Breast Preventive Care

Breast Preventive Care

No doubt cancer is a dreaded word to hear and even to relate to. However, ignoring the possibility of developing one is not the solution.

Statistically, only a particular section of women are found to be at higher risk but the fact is that ALL women could be under the threat of getting breast cancer. Although, breast cancer is not a preventable disease before its onset, but yes, the risks can be reduced to a large extent and early detection of the diseases provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment.

Routine and regular care is the best way to keep you abreast with your breast health.

Step 1 – Breast Self-Examination (BSE): The American Cancer Society states that breast self exam should begin early in womanhood. Starting early will familiarise them with their normal breast structure, so they can notice changes easily, if and when there are any. BSE should be done regularly every month, ideally post finishing of periods.

Any of the following changes should be reported to the physician.

  • A lump
  • Any discharge (other than milk in lactating females)
  • Swelling of the breast
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Nipple abnormalities (pain, redness or turning inward)

Step 2 – Clinical Examination: A clinical breast examination by a doctor or trained nurse to evaluate breast should be done once in every three years.

Similar parameters as followed in self breast exam are looked for by the healthcare practitioner.

Step 3 – Mammography: Mammography is a low-dose x-ray of the breasts to find any abnormal tissue changes. Mammography can detect cancers before the lump becomes large enough to be felt manually. However, a biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis of cancer.

It is recommended every three years for women between 40 – 50 age groups. Post 50, it should be done once in two years. For more precise assessment, women should talk with their health care providers about their personal risk factors before finalizing the schedule for mammograms.

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