Importance of Breast Self-Exams

Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It only takes a few minutes

According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center: “Nearly 40% of diagnosed breast cancer is detected by a women feeling a lump.”

Every woman has been told about the importance of self exams in the early detection
of breast cancer at least once in her life, but breast cancer can affect men too!
Research indicates that survival rates are equal among the genders when the cancer
is caught in the same stage, but it is shown that men have a lower rate of early
detection as they are less likely to report symptoms.

Self exams have been shown to aid in early detection of breast cancer in women. With
an estimated 232,000 new cases (of women) and 2,200 new cases (of men) diagnosed
with invasive breast cancer this year, early detection is key.

Breast cancer is one of the most prolific cancers today with deaths estimated to be
over 39,000 women in 2013. Performing self exams can help lower that number, below
are some things to look for when performing a self exam:

• A lump or knot; usually painless
• Dimpling or puckering of breast skin
• Nipple discharge; clear or with traces of blood
• Itchy or scaly skin on the nipple
• Change in size or shape of the breast
• Pulling in of the nipple or other areas of the breast

It is important for men and women to check themselves and become familiar with
their bodies. Speak with patients about the importance of regular self exams and
encourage them to examine routinely.

For more tips on performing a breast exam, visit:

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