Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, works with Carbon Health to discuss the importance of regular self-exams in breast cancer detection.
According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate is 99 percent. And early detection means not only regular visits with a healthcare provider and mammograms, but also monthly breast self-exams.
Staying in Touch with Your Body Through Breast Self-Exams
A lot has changed during the pandemic. Many people decided to put off healthcare and delay some routine preventive visits. People also noticed their bodies changing, in all sorts of ways, because of stress (as well as other factors). Doing a monthly breast self-exam isn’t just about looking for cancer. It’s part of staying acquainted with your body, checking in with it, and seeing what’s up. It’s a time to slow down and clue in. Is that a new freckle? Is there weight gain or loss? Muscle gain or loss? Our bodies have so much to tell us if we take the time to listen.
Am I Too Young for Breast Self-Checks?
Unless they have certain risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer, most people don’t start getting regular mammograms until they are 40 years old. This contributes to a misconception that breast health is not a concern until then. However, once you’ve passed puberty, monthly self-exams are a good idea. If you’ve never done a breast self-exam, you may be wondering where to begin. Here are few easy steps to get you started:
- Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror. Be sure you are standing on flat feet or sitting with as straight a back as you are able (no intentional slouching or leaning)….
Dr. BCW continues on the Carbon Health article.