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Old 08-28-2002, 01:39 AM
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Shawn Shawn is offline
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I do a BSE every month. I am prone to be very cystic so it is in my best interest to keep an eye out for any abnormities.

For those that do not do SBE or do not know how to check, here are some simple steps:

Self-Breast Examination in front of a Mirror

Stand before a mirror. Inspect your breasts for anything unusual, such as any discharge from the nipple, or a puckering, dimpling or scaling of the skin. If you’ve had a mastectomy, inspect the scar for new swelling, lumps, redness or color changes.

Watching closely in the mirror, clasp your hands behind your head and press your hands forward. Next, press your hands firmly on your hips and bow slightly toward the mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward.

Raise your right arm. Using three or four fingers of your other hand, explore your breast firmly, carefully and thoroughly. Beginning at the outer edge, press with the flat part of your fingers moving in small circles slowly around the breast. Gradually work toward the nipple. Be sure to cover the entire breast. Pay special attention to the area between the breast and underarm, including the underarm itself. Feel for any unusual lump or mass under the skin.

Gently squeeze the nipple and look for a discharge. Raise your left arm and repeat Step 3. Lumps, thickening and puckering of the skin are changes you should bring to your doctor’s attention.
Repeat steps three and four lying down. Lie flat on your back, raise your right arm over your head and place a pillow or folded towel under your shoulder. This position flattens the breast and makes it easier to examine. Use the same circular motion described earlier. Repeat on the other side.

SBE Lying Down

Place a pillow under your right shoulder. Put your right hand under your head. Check your entire breast area with the finger pads of your left hand. Use small circles and follow an up and down pattern. Use light, medium and firm pressure over each area of your breast. Repeat these steps on your left breast.

SBE In The Shower

Raise your right arm. With soapy hand and fingers flat, check your right breast. Use the method described in the "Lying Down" step. Repeat on your left breast.

Report any changes to your doctor or nurse. Go for regular breast exams and pap tests. Ask about a mammogram.

Trouble signs that should not be ignored

Although doctors are specially trained to find breast lumps and a mammogram can find even smaller lumps, most breast lumps are found by women themselves at home. A woman who knows the look and feel of her own breasts may notice a new lump or a change in-between doctor visits.

When you do your breast self-exam every month, look and feel for the following signs of possible problems in your breast or underarm area. If you notice any of them, make an appointment to show them to a trained medical professional right away.

~ lumps, hard knot or thickening in any part of the breast ~unusual swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening that does not go away
~ change in the size or shape of your breast
~ dimpling or puckering of the skin of your breast
~ an itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
~ pulling in of the nipple or other parts of the breast
~ nipple discharge that starts suddenly
~ pain in one spot that does not vary with your monthly cycle

Lastly, Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. After all, men have breast tissue also. The overall ratio of female to male breast cancer in the U.S. is 100 to 1.1 Although it sounds like a small number, that is still roughly 1,500 men who will be diagnosed, and about 400 who will die of the disease in a given year 2002.2

The most common symptoms of male breast cancer include a lump in the breast or a nipple abnormality. Because breast cancer is so much more common in females, many men do not even realize they can develop this disease. Unfortunately, this can delay diagnosis and as a result, some cancers are not found until they have progressed to a later stage. However, when cancer is found at the same stage among men and women, the survival rates are similar. Because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast, it is more likely the disease will spread to the chest wall. For this reason, it is important to find the cancer early in order to successfully treat it.

For more information Breast Cancer Info is a very informative site.
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