Breasts are the symbol of femininity. Not only future mothers, but all representatives of the fair sex should take care of their health. At any age it is worth regularly checking their condition – thanks to this you can prevent the development of many dangerous diseases, including cancer, and take the necessary action early.
Young women in their early 20s can have regular monthly breast self-examinations. Self-observation is important but you should also seek the help of a specialist. It is recommended to visit a gynaecologist once a year and to be examined by a doctor. Women after their 30s should additionally have a prophylactic breast USG examination – also once a year. After forty, as a prophylaxis, it is recommended to be examined by a doctor every six months, to have breast ultrasound once a year and mammography once every two years.
For women over 50, the doctor may recommend a higher frequency of examinations. Also, in the situation of genetic burden and in women over 35 years of age, taking hormonal contraception, there may be indications for more frequent checks of breast health. Self-examination is best performed 2-3 days after menstruation. At the beginning, you should carefully examine your breasts in a mirror, looking at the coloration of the skin and whether there are any changes in their shape.
During the self-examination, the hands should be raised up, above the head, and then rested on the hips, then they should be lowered freely along the torso and in an inclined position. In such positions, it is possible to inspect the breasts closely. Then, by touch, feel the breasts to check for any lumps or bumps in their tissue.
The examination can be conducted comfortably in a lying position, with the right and then the left hand placed under the head. During compression the hand performs rotational, radial and up-and-down movements. Finally, we also examine the supraclavicular and axillary regions, checking for enlarged lymph nodes. If anything is questionable, you can see or feel changes – it is worth seeing a doctor. The presence of nodules or lumps, as well as discharge from the nipple should prompt an urgent visit. At the same time it is worth remembering that most changes are harmless and not associated with the need for serious intervention.