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Breast Cancer Awareness: How to check your breasts

Play your part by making sure your breasts are healthy – after all, with early detection, cancer can be beaten.

It takes just 10 minutes to check your breasts, something cancer specialists recommend you do four times a year. By becoming familiar with how they look and feel, you’ll be able to identify what’s normal for you. You’ll also be able to tell if something feels out of the ordinary. If it does, it’s best to consult a specialist as soon as possible.

STEP 1

Breast self-examination

Start your self-examination by standing in front of the mirror. Look for any unusual redness, swelling or rashes, or changes like dimpling, bulges or puckering of the skin. Now raise both your arms, checking to see if anything looks different.

STEP 2

Breast self-examination

The next step is to feel for lumps or hardened tissue. Lying down, raise your left hand and place it behind your head, using your right hand to gently press the left breast. Keep your fingers flat and move them in a circular motion or up and down – whatever works best for you – as long as you cover the entire breast, using strong pressure so that you can feel even the deep tissue. When you’ve checked one breast, switch hands and repeat the process.

STEP 3

Breast self-examination

You can also check your breasts in the shower. Lift your right arm and check your right breast with a soapy left hand. Use a flat hand and fingers and follow the same method described above.

These simple steps can make all the difference to your health – and to someone else’s, so don’t be afraid to tell your friends and family members how they, too, can look after themselves.

Read more: Breast cancer survivor Nomthandazo Khumalo tells us about her journey.

Read more: Zoleka Mandela shares her experience and lessons learned from struggling with and overcoming breast cancer.

Images: Thinkstock, cansa.org.za

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