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5 Steps To Check Yourself For Breast Cancer In Malta

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October is all about raising awareness over certain illnesses, particularly breast and cervical cancer.

The awareness initiative, formed by the Marigold Foundation, is deeply rooted in offering education and support to help with prevention of these illnesses spreading.

A breast self-exam can be highly beneficial in making sure that there are not any abnormalities, and can be an important way to find breast cancer in its early stages.

As part of Pink October, Lovin Malta has compiled an easy step-by-step guide for people to check themselves for breast cancer. 

1. Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror

Begin the self-exam by looking at your breasts in the mirror as you stand with your shoulders completely straight and your arms resting on your hips.

You should be looking out to make sure that your breasts are their usual size, shape, and colour, and that they are evenly shaped with no visible swelling.

If you see any of the following; redness, soreness, swelling, dimpling, bulging of the skin, or a nipple that has changed position or gone inverted, bring these forward with your doctor.

2. Raise your arms, and look out for the same criteria

While maintaining your position in front of the mirror, raise your arms fully and link your hands at the top, and watch out for the same changes; swelling, lumps, discoloration, dimpling, and bulging of the breast.

Apart from that, also look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples. The liquid could be a watery, milky, yellow fluid or blood.

3. Next up, feel your breasts while laying down

Lay down in a comfortable position, and start to feel your breasts. Use your right hand to feel your left breast, and your left hand to feel your right one.

Try to use a firm but smooth touch with a circular motion, using around half of your fingers while keeping them flat and close together.

Make sure to cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side, covering from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and then from your armpit to your cleavage.

4. Make sure to feel all of the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts

  • Use light pressure for the skin and tissue that’s found just beneath your breasts.
  • Use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts.
  • Use firm pressure to feel the deep tissue at the back of your breasts.

5. Finally, feel your breasts while standing up

One of the easiest ways to do this is while having a shower, as the skin would be wet and slippery.

Make sure to cover the whole area of your breasts, using the hand technique described in Step 3.

And if you find something?

In the event of discovering a lump in your breasts, don’t panic. 

Many women often have lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts, and it does not necessarily mean that it is cancerous.

With that being said, make sure to call your doctor, and set up an appointment for a proper check-up. Doctors normally make use of ultrasounds and mammograms to evaluate breast lumps.

The more you examine your breasts and perform these self-breast checks, the more you will notice if something changes.

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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