The term breast cancer is disturbing for every person, and particularly devastating for women. Nevertheless, overlooking the risk that breast cancer might happen to you and avoiding the diagnostic procedure to detect the same can be hazardous.
Explaining the Three Step Preventive Care Plan
Routine care is the most ideal approach to keep your breasts and overall health intact. Identifying breast cancer in its initial phases is the principal objective of routine care. Also, other non-cancerous conditions, for example, fibrocystic breasts can easily be detected through routine care.
Step 1. Breast Self-Examination (BSE)
For women of ages 20 and more, breast self-examination is the best way of familiarizing themselves with the normal state of their breasts. Regular BSE helps women to identify how their breasts should feel with the goal that they can all the more carefully identify any changes, which might include -
- Development of a lump
- Swelling of the breast
- Liquid discharge other than breast milk (during pregnancy or lactation period)
- Nipple abnormalities which include – turning inwards, pain and redness
Step 2. Clinical examination
A breast examination by a specialist or attendant trained and certified for the same ought to be an integral part of any woman’s routine health check-ups. The ACS (American Cancer Society) prescribes -
- For women under age group 20-39, the clinical examination of the breasts should be done every 3 years.
- For women over 40 years of age, breast examination should be done every year.
Step 3. Mammography
Mammography is the most well-known imaging system for finding changes that might occur in the breasts of a woman of any age. Mammography, a relatively mild X-ray done specifically for the breasts can detect tumor and other issues like lump in the breast before it becomes large enough to be felt with a hand.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations include – mammography every two years for women falling in the age group of 50 to 75.
Bottom-line - There are a few women who fall under high-risk spectrum, however the fact is that all women are at some degree of risk for breast cancer. Thus, it becomes imperative for every woman to follow the three steps preventive care plan for keeping their breasts in good health.
Written By: Dr. Harman
Edited By: C. Soni