The reality is that both men and women need to carry out a self-examination every month to check for breast cancer as both men and women can be diagnosed. A minute of your time could save your life.
Here are easy steps that you can follow when it comes to doing a self-examination at home.
Self-examination at home
A simple breast examination in the comfort of your home only takes about a minute to do. Doing this on a date that is easy to remember like payday or your birthday can help you keep track of any changes or developments in your breasts that could be cancerous. Men also need to do this because they also have the same breast tissue that women have that can develop cancerous cells that lead to breast cancer.
Ladies who still get their periods should do their examinations 7 days after the last day of their menstrual period. Even if you are a female who does not get her periods, it is crucial to do a self-examination test at least once a month.
Men can also follow the same self-examination test that is set out for women by placing a flat palm on their chest to feel for any lumps that are hard and do not move under the touch. Cancerous lumps can also be found in the armpit and collar bone region where the lymph nodes are, which is why it is important to do a regular check. Remember to consult a doctor or your GP about any lumps that you find.
Other tests that women should do:
Mammography tests, also known as a mammogram, is a test done by doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer by using an X-ray of your breast to test for any cancerous cells. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), a mammogram has proven to reduce breast cancer mortality by approximately 20%. Although mammograms are recommended for women 40 years and older, there are narrow benefits compared to harms for both younger and older women.
How does a mammogram work? The breast is placed on a plate and compressed by a perspex plate to spread the breast tissues to detect any abnormalities in the breast. Should your doctor or GP find any abnormalities, you could be requested to come in for a diagnostic mammogram to determine if it is cancerous.
A breast ultrasound is usually performed on women below 40 and is done to test for any abnormalities in the breast. This involves the use of sound waves to produce an image of structures deep within your body. An ultrasound can help doctors determine whether the new breast lump is a solid mass or if it is a fluid-filled cyst.
Keeping a schedule to screen your breasts consistently can help doctors recommend the right tests for you. It could also lead to early treatment to stop the cancerous cells from violently spreading across your body.