As new research has emerged, many experts say there isn’t a lot of evidence that monthly breast self-exams help detect breast cancer. However, it’s important to practice breast self-awareness.
What exactly does that mean? There’s no special technique; all you need to do is get up close and personal with your breasts and be aware of how they look and feel with these questions in mind:
None of these are absolute signs of cancer. But if you detect any changes or abnormalities, tell your healthcare provider.
The average woman has a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer, but certain risk factors can increase that chance. There are some risk factors that are unavoidable—for example, the main risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman. (Men can get it, too, but it’s about 100 times more common in women.) According to the American Cancer Society, being older is a risk factor, too, as most breast cancers are found in women older than 50. Here are some other risk factors that you can’t change:
It’s still possible to develop breast cancer without any of these risk factors. On the other hand, women can have some of these factors and never have it. In fact, most women won’t. Remember that 1 in 8 chance? The other side of that is 7 out of 8 women born today will NEVER be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Many studies show that having multiple pregnancies (especially before age 30) reduces breast cancer risk—and so does breastfeeding.
Mom-Shaming Learning the ropes as a new mom is tough—and it’s even harder when you have to deal with mom-shaming criticism from those nearest and dearest to you.