Throughout October I Love My Nighty is focusing on breast health and the importance of keeping your body and immune system healthy to help fight disease, and checking your breasts daily, monthly and yearly. Starting at age 18 and throughout your entire life you should practice routine breast exams.
SAVE YOUR LIFE
Don't delay your mammogram because of COVID-19. Appointment openings are often months away so schedule or set a reminder for yours today!
DAILY Massage. A lymphatic massage and “phluffing” will help soften breast tissue and reduce breast tenderness. This simple self-care routine can be done using soap in the shower or after you get out using a massage oil like coconut oil, or an oil designed specifically for lymphatic breast massage containing additional soothing essential oils*. This practice helps you develop a loving ritual while increasing your breast self awareness. (*Do not massage dry skin.)
MONTHLY Breast Self-Exam. Give yourself a thorough visual + hands-on exam using the MammaCare® method shown here. Set a monthly appointment on the same day every month (5 days after your period when breast swelling is reduced) and don’t make excuses to skip it. This practice helps you get to know your breasts on a deeper level by knowing what “normal” is to you, so you can identify any changes, small or large and report them to your doctor.
> VISUAL EXAM Look at your breasts, get to know them so you recognize any changes. Stand in front of the mirror and check your breasts in 9 positions:
1) Arms at your sides: face front, turn left and right.
2) Arms above your head and lean forward: face front, turn left and right.
3) Hands on hips and hunch shoulders forward: face front, turn left and right.
Schedule this ritual once a month. Use this guide to help you perform it correctly.
Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes:
> HANDS-ON EXAM Use the MammaCare® exam method for the most thorough exam. Set a monthly reminder on your calendar to do this on the same day every month/5-7 days after your period.
ANNUALLY Clinical Exam. Schedule an appointment with your doctor for a thorough breast exam and discuss any health concerns or changes.
ANNUALLY 40+: Mammogram. Ask for a 3D mammography for better results.
Schedule the clinical exam and the mammogram 6 months apart. Set a calendar reminder to make your appointments 4 months in advance to be sure you are staying within your 1 year + 1 day (insurance requirement) schedule.
Breast exams are the way you detect early on if something isn't right. It's important to note that 80% of "lumps" are benign, but you always want to notice any kind of change happening. Stay "in touch" with your body and learn to listen to what it's telling you.