OMG I FOUND A LUMP!
We know the truth: Giving yourself a breast exam is the last thing on your mind as you cherish the few minutes of peace and quiet you get in the shower each day! The truth of it is, if you want to keep wearing your favorite bras, you’ll need to make sure that what fills them up is healthy. So next time you take a shower, take a minute to get to know yourself a little better.
More Power To You: The Power to Detect Breast Cancer is Literally in Your Hands
Breast Self-Examination is effective in determining 70% of breast abnormalities.
40% of diagnosed breast cancers are from women who felt a lump.
Breast cancer feels like a hard rock in the breast 78% of the time.
3 Major Reasons You Should Examine Your Breasts
If you drink alcohol, are overweight, or are physically inactive, you are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
Tip: Instead of hitting happy hour, one hour of running can burn upwards of 400 calories
If your mom had it, you could too: 20-30% of women who develop breast cancer have a family history of the disease.
The older you are, the higher your risk is: 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of a lifetime, and your risk increases as you get older. While 0.44 percent of women are diagnosed with breast cancer by age 30 (1 in 227), 3.82 percent of women are diagnosed with it by the age of 70 (1 in 26).
Tip: Starting at age 40, it’s recommended that women get a yearly mammogram since the risk of breast cancer increases as you age. Don’t skip out on this important ritual!
How To Give Yourself a Breast Exam
While there are several approaches to the self exam, our favorite method is in the shower. It’ll give you an excuse to put off shaving your legs for an extra few minutes!
Put your hand behind your head to make sure the breast tissue is properly spread out
Press gently while moving your fingers in a circular fashion, from the outside of the breast to the nipple
Repeat on the other side
Do it at least once a month (or more if you’re feeling really brave that day)
If You Find a Lump, Don’t Panic
226,870 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer last year. While you might feel completely alone, you are anything but.
Finding a Doctor
3 Things to do when choosing a doctor:
See Board Certifications
Check Financing Options
OBGYN: confirms diagnosis
Radiologist: Assesses the cancer
Oncologist: Treats the cancer
Reconstructive surgeon: Presents surgical options
When you’re dealing with the stress of finding a lump, you may feel too overwhelmed to know what to do next. But thanks to websites that help you to find a doctor, read testimonials, and learn about financing options in advance, the process can be painless. Don’t put it off! The sooner you find a local doctor, the sooner you can take action.
The Good News...
The good news is that your days of wearing sexy bras is not necessarily over. There are a lot of reconstructive options that will allow you to keep your curves, but ditch the cancer. A recent study proves that reconstruction will not only help you feel better when you look in the mirror, but improve your psychosocial and sexual well-being.
Saline implants have a lifespan of 10-15 years
Silicone feels more like a natural breast than saline
Fat transfer uses your own body’s materials
Only 1 in 4 women with insurance gets reconstructive surgery immediately after her mastectomy.
Don’t be afraid to ask about what’s next. Not only are some women never shown breast reconstruction surgery results, but previous research shows 7 out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer are never even told about their breast reconstruction options.
Less than a quarter (23%) of women know the wide range of breast reconstruction options available.
Only 22% of women are familiar with the quality of outcomes that can be expected.
Only 19% of women understand that the timing of their treatment for breast cancer and the timing of their decision to undergo reconstruction greatly impacts their options and results.
While your bra may have been your only source for support in the past, you’ll learn to rely on a different kind of push-up in the future: the breast cancer community and your doctor.
Be proactive about your health. Women that detect their cancer in Stage 1 have an 86% survival rate.
Sources: American Cancer Society, Johns Hopkins Medicine, BreastCancer.org, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, National Cancer Institute