Inspecting your breasts on your own is known as a breast self-exam. It helps to increase your breast awareness by using your hands and eyes to monitor the look and feel of your breasts.
Discuss with your doctor on noticing new changes in the breast if any. Though most of them may prove to be benign, some may indicate serious problems such as even breast cancer.
As breast self- exams have not shown to be effective in the detection of breast cancer nor do they increase the chances of survival for women with breast cancer, they are not recommended as part of breast cancer screening by most medical organizations. But still, doctors feel that it is important for women to be familiar with their breasts such that they can promptly report changes if any.
Breast Conditions and Diseases
Breast changes are common in most women at some time. These could be in the form of bumps, lumps or discharges (other than breast milk) which could be linked to your age, medications or hormone levels.
It is advisable to contact your doctor as soon as you detect any lump, skin irritation, pain or discharge from your breasts since similar symptoms may be experienced for both major and minor breast problems. Not all breast problems are cancer though many women fear it.
Some common breast changes are:
- Fibrocystic breast changes swelling and thickening, lumpiness usually just before a womans period
- Cysts fluid-filled lumps
- Fibroadenomas found mostly in young women these are round, solid, rubbery lumps that move easily when pushed.
- Intraductal papillomas growths similar to warts near the nipple.
- Blocked milk ducts
- Milk production when not breastfeeding.
How do Mammograms work?
During this procedural test, the breasts of the woman is compressed between two firm surfaces which spreads the tissue of the breasts. The X-ray image then captures the Black and White images of the breasts which are uploaded for cancer diagnosis.
Why Mammogram ?
Mainly used for identifying a lump on the breast for the following:
- Screening Mammography— A test that is conducted by the machine to detect breast changes or for symptoms for breast abnormalities. Aim is to detect any cancer signs before the clinical signs are noticed.
- Diagnostic Mammography— An investigative procedure to find for any suspicious changes in the breasts such as lumps on the breasts, breast pain, unusual appearance, nipple thickening or nipple discharges.A met
- hod to identify the abnormalities in the breast.
- Guidelines for Mammography—
- Women liable with risk for breast cancer.Women aged above 40 are more prone to such problems.
- Risk for Breast Cancer– Women pose of old age are recommended to benefit from the Mammography.
Results of Mammograms
Radiologists determines the traces for cancer by suggesting for the treatment:
- Calcium deposits in Ducts and other tissues.
- Lumps or protrusions.
- Distorted Tissues.
- Dense areas of lumps on one breast or a specific area.
- Appearances since the last screening of Mammograms.
A perfect tool for screening or diagnostic purposes for identifying breast cancer. Frequency of breast examination is essential for diagnosing cancer diseases. The age and risk of breast cancer increases if proper measures are not adopted.