While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is five months away still, we try to educate and spread awareness as much as we can all year round. Today, we are going to be talking about self-breast examinations and everything you need to know about them!
Hello warriors, readers, patients, and friends! We are so glad you're joining us today for our first blog of May! It is a new season, a new spring, a new time in Charleston, and all of it comes with a new sense of hope and strength within it. We hope each of you reading this today feels that feeling with us, and we hope you know that no matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help and support you. First and foremost, we are here to help empower our amazing patients and to help them through their diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. This will never be a path you walk alone. We also offer many specialized services right here in our Charleston offices including abnormal breast imaging, family history and genetic testing, oncoplastic surgery, scar revision, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser hair removal, lactation, and much more. If you're looking for the premier breast specialists in Charleston, SC, you've found us!
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is still officially five months away, we try to honor it every day by spreading awareness, talking about the realities of breast cancer for women of all ages, and trying to use every opportunity we can to educate everyone we meet. Today, in honor of this idea, we are going to be talking about self-breast exams; what they are, the best way to go about giving yourself the best exam, and some common myths you might not know! For those new to The Breast Place, welcome! We are here to support you and your breasts at every stage of your life. We've mentioned this in past blogs, but self-breast exams can be one of the most successful first steps in preventing cancer and catching it in its early stages. Self-breast exams are important for women throughout their lives but can be extremely beneficial for younger women with very thick breast tissue. Having thick breast tissue can make it almost impossible for a mammogram to work on women younger than 40. In many situations, self-breast exams can be one of the only ways that cancer can be caught in women younger than 40, and can be an amazing lifesaver. At The Breast Place, we perform clinical breast exams, family history risk assessment, breast ultrasounds, biopsies including fine needle aspirations, and needle core biopsies in the office. However, sometimes your overall experience and reason why you find us at The Breast Palace can begin with a self-breast examination. Today, we will be focusing on self-breast exams so you can successfully carry out this life-saving procedure on yourself!
What Is A Self Breast Exam?
As it is stated in its name, a self-breast exam is an at-home self-inspection of your beasts to see if there are any changes or abnormalities that have appeared within your breasts. The best way to do a fully successful breast exam is to use both your eyes and hands to determine if there are any changes to the overall feel and look of your breasts. If you do see any changes, it is best to speak to your doctor right away. Please note that, according to the Mayo Clinic, that almost all changes found during a self-breast exam for your breasts appear due to benign causes. However, this never means that you should ignore any changes that might appear. It means you still need to share this information with your doctor and have them determine what should happen next. It is still possible that some changes may mean something serious, like breast cancer.
Why Should I Give Myself Self Breast Exams?
While breast cancer to this day is still considered something that is only found in women who have gone through menopause, we need to break that stigma! Giving yourself self-breast exams and understanding their importance can help with this! A self-exam or even just examining your breasts on your own can be a huge help with discovering cancer early. This can mean that if cancer is caught and treated earlier, it is more likely to be treated successfully! When self-exams are paired with regular physical exams, they can help make a huge impact on your life and safety. Also remember that giving yourself a breast exam costs you nothing but a little time, and that time is well worth spending on yourself!
How Do I Give Myself A Self Breast Examination?
Now that you know a little bit more about self-breast exams and why they are so important, it's time to understand how best to go about giving yourself a breast exam. This way they can be as efficient, effective, and successful as possible.
What To Expect From A Self Breast Exam
While reading about how to give yourself a self-breast exam may teach you how to do it, that doesn't mean you know exactly what to expect or what it might feel like. Here are a few more extra tips and pieces of insight that might make the whole process a little easier and help prepare you a little more.
Myths About Self Breast Exams & More
Just like we've debunked many different things on our blogs before, there are myths about self-breast exams and other related topics that need to be debunked too. The list below is full of myths to avoid and not worry about while going through your life and caring for your breasts. However, if you do have any questions or concerns even after reading this list and the whole blog, please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with us!
Warriors, fight your battles and be strong while doing so. You have the tools now to begin the battle and to keep yourself as prepared and ahead of the diagnosis as possible. Your health is in your hands, quite literally. Please take the time to dedicate a self-breast exam to your schedule every month. In the long run, it might be the biggest key in catching the first sign or stages of cancer that could appear in your body! Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.
While October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, April is National Cancer Control Month. As we finish out this month and head closer to summer, we wanted to talk a little bit more about this month, its focus, and what you can do to help spread awareness!
Hello readers, warriors, and friends! Welcome back to the Breast Place's blog! October, as you know, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While we try to treat every month as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to educate, support, and spread as much information and awareness as we can, we still need your help and support to achieve our goals. While April might not solely focus on breast cancer, it is still one of the many forms of Cancer that are discussed and included in this month's awareness. Many of our new readers and those still adjusting to their diagnosis may also be new to the idea of National Cancer Control Month. What is cancer control? According to cancer.org, cancer control and the month of April helps bring awareness about and focus on reducing the number of individuals who get cancer, end up with complications from their diagnosis, and who die from it. "It uses approaches that have been tested through research to control the number of cancer cases as well as the effect of cancer". This month's whole goal of cancer control is to prevent cancer, reduce the risk of cancer, detect cancer sooner, improve all cancer treatments, help more people who are diagnosed with cancer survive, and improve the quality of life for those who have cancer. Another goal of cancer control is to help with the overall effects and burden cancer puts on your life and how it affects your community, your family, and you!
April became National Cancer Control month in 1938. Declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for over 83 years the month of April has been dedicated to raising awareness for all forms of cancer and to support its treatment and cure throughout the United States. Thanks to years of hard work and the push to better educate our citizens here in the US, the death toll from cancer did see a steady decline when National Cancer Control month was created. This education and awareness have been dedicated to teaching how to prevent certain cancers, how to recognize signs and symptoms, and how to find proper treatment. At the time that National Cancer Control was created, so many men and women didn't know what symptoms to look for and they didn't know who to turn to for help. While many would go to their local doctors, they weren't aware of many specialists that existed to help them prevent and recover from any cancer they might have been suffering from.
To this day, one of the most effective ways to help prevent almost all cancers or to catch them in their earliest stages is with screenings. The screening will help detect precancerous cells and provide early treatment to hopefully catch and eliminate the found cancer before it becomes any kind of serious problem. One of the most common and easy screened cancers is breast cancer, thanks to breast imaging like yearly mammograms for women ages 40 and older.
The battle to fight for cancer in the US truly began as our country was also fighting in WWII. Thanks to President Roosevelt who viewed the diseases as deadly as the enemy we were fighting overseas, cancer awareness finally became a solid reality. While it is something that we are all very aware of now, this hasn't always been the case. While almost all Americans knew and paid close attention to the enemies we were fighting overseas during WWII, far fewer knew the dangers of cancer, and many didn't even realize how serious cancer was. Roosevelt changed this with his declaration of Cancer Control Month. At the time, according to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, cancer was claiming almost 150,000 American lives every year, many of these cases could have been stopped or prevented with regular checkups, care, and education. When Roosevelt declared April as National Cancer Control Month, he called upon the media, school, universities, medical professionals, and many more to help him with this endeavor. While this was a powerful campaign and has been since it began, cancer and its burdens are still affecting millions of Americans every year. Due to the continued rise of cases, the month of April has shifted its focus into five different categories.
This year, the president made a declaration to the nation regarding National Cancer Control Month, and along with the 83 years it has been around, this year is also the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971. This legislation pushed our nation to really commit to cancer research, established a network of cancer centers, advanced research, clinical trials, and data collection systems. Without this landmark legislation, many breakthroughs against cancer that have happened in recent years might not have occurred. He also made note that due to the pandemic, many disruptions were made to cancer care including routine screenings, therapy, diagnosis, and much more. With National Cancer Control Month on its way out and the covid-19 vaccine on its way in, please do not delay any future treatments, screening, or doctor visits. Now is the time to get back to how to control cancer so it doesn't control us. While we have made exceptional advances against cancer, there is still much to be done. If anything, national cancer control month does an excellent job of reminding us how much we've accomplished and how much farther we still need to go.
While we all continue to do our part to educate and spread awareness throughout April and every single month throughout the year, this month can be a little overwhelming and make us all feel defeated. When this happens, the best thing to do is to focus on the positive, and focus on what we can do and not on what we still can't. This month is dedicated to uniting us all thanks to the power of knowledge. Help spread the word and get involved. If you can, donate to cancer research to help improve treatment and help with the survival rate. While you might not be able to financially give back and support, there are many free ways to give back and help. One way to do that is with a free cancer prevention and early detection kit from the NFCR. This kit includes tips and suggestions on how to lower your personal chances of getting cancer, information about the different types of cancer screenings available to you, and it comes in a downloadable form so you can share it with anyone and everyone to help spread awareness. While you're in this mindset, don't forget some of the most effective ways to prevent many different types of cancer, including breast cancer, can be achieved by making small changes in your life.
Now that you know a little more about cancer control month, its power and its influence depend on people like you; those who are aware and want to share their knowledge, those dealing with all stages of diagnosis, and those who are loved ones of those going through a diagnosis. Keep talking, keep sharing, and keep giving back as much as you can! We are here to help you with all of this, so please never hesitate to reach out to us when you need us most! Don't forget, if you're looking for a women's imaging center near you, breast imaging, laser scar removal, and much more, you have found everything you need right here at The Breast Place. We are your leading professionals in Charleston to provide hope through wellness and beauty for women facing life's challenges. We specialize in malignant and benign breast disease and as a team, we work with you to educate, treat, and provide the best care we can. Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.