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  • Breast Checks
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Breast Checks

Breast problems are the most common health concerns among women and can affect women at any age.

In women, the development of breasts usually begins around puberty and they may undergo various changes throughout the life cycle, especially during menstrual periods, pregnancy, lactation and advancing age. Other than the normal physiological changes, the breast may also undergo a few other changes which may be a cause of anxiety among women.

Breast checks include self inspection, clinical examinations and the use of diagnostic devices. It has been proven that breast exams are essential for early detection of breast cancer and are also useful for breast cancer prevention. Women over 40 years of age are predisposed to breast cancer. Awareness about breast checks is effective for early detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Types of breast changes

The common pathological breast changes can be categorized into non-cancerous and cancerous changes. Non-cancerous changes include generalized breast lumpiness; enlarged lymph nodes; painless, movable and firm lumps; presence of cysts; breast pain; abscesses or nipple discharge. Cancerous changes in the breast include invasive ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma, etc.

Symptoms of  breast cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer include a persistent irregularity or lump within the breast or near the underarm, swelling around the breast, changes in the appearance of the breast or nipple, nipple discharge which may be blood-stained or clear fluid, hardness or dimpling felt over the breast or any unusual changes in the breast.

Methods of breast checks

The most popular methods of breast checks involve breast self-exam (BSE), clinical breast-exam (CBE), and advance imaging such as mammograms. Other diagnostic measures such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also be used. These methods are commonly used for diagnostic purpose, for early detection of breast cancer.

Types of breast changes

The common pathological breast changes can be categorized into non-cancerous and cancerous changes. Non-cancerous changes include generalized breast lumpiness; enlarged lymph nodes; painless, movable and firm lumps; presence of cysts; breast pain; abscesses or nipple discharge. Cancerous changes in the breast include invasive ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma, etc.

Symptoms of  breast cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer include a persistent irregularity or lump within the breast or near the underarm, swelling around the breast, changes in the appearance of the breast or nipple, nipple discharge which may be blood-stained or clear fluid, hardness or dimpling felt over the breast or any unusual changes in the breast.

Methods of breast checks

The most popular methods of breast checks involve breast self-exam (BSE), clinical breast-exam (CBE), and advance imaging such as mammograms. Other diagnostic measures such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also be used. These methods are commonly used for diagnostic purpose, for early detection of breast cancer.

Breast self- exam

In breast self-exam, a woman checks her own breasts to identify any abnormalities or unusual changes. It includes observation and physical examinations of the breast. Breast self-exam is easy, free, and can be performed easily at home. Your family history and your risk for developing breast cancer are a factor in deciding the age at which you need to initiate breast self-exam. Always inform your doctor about any change in the appearance of your breasts or any related abnormality. Breasts may swell and become tender at different stages of your menstrual cycle, so plan the breast self-exam at a convenient time every month to avoid discomfort.
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