THE PROCEDURE FOR BREAST CARE
The Experts always have wanted to share these 10 keys to preserve breast health on the occasion of World Breast Cancer Day.
Do you know how to self-explore your breasts to detect a possible cancer? What time is the best to do it? Is your position the most appropriate? Do you know what a Genetic Counseling is? We solve these and other doubts to help the prevention of the disease.
Self-exploration is a very useful tool to detect a possible breast cancer. It is advisable to do it monthly. The best moment? The days after the period. Follow these steps:
– Stand in front of a mirror with your arms down and turn your torso to detect any possible lumps, dimples, orange-like skin, rashes, swelling, changes in nipple position or red areas.
– Raise your arms to check if the contour of the breasts is uniform or you see any of the previous alterations.
– Lie down and palpate each breast with the tips of the fingers of the opposite hand, that is, examine the right breast with the left hand and vice versa. It starts at the outside of the nipple and uses circular movements along straight lines.
– Also examines the armpits with the arms lowered.
2. If you have doubts, see the specialist
Self-exploration only works if the specialist detects any abnormality in the breasts. Do not procrastinate. At any possible suggestion, check it out.
3. Get an annual or bi-annual mammogram, depending on your age
If you are between 30 and 40 years old it is advisable to have a mammogram every two years. From 40, an annual. And if you are under 30 but have a family history of breast cancer you can also request a mammogram.
It is the most reliable method of early detection of cancer since it detects 90% of the tumors, whereas the physical examination can only reveal 50% of them.
Mammography reveals tumors of such small size that they could not be palpated in the scans until they grew for about 2 more years. Early prevention of breast cancer allows the lesion to be detected in stages where it has not yet spread to other parts of the body. In addition, this can be treated with less aggressive treatments.
4. If you are pregnant or have less than 30, breast ultrasound
This technique is complementary to mammography and other breast cancer detection techniques. It does not use radiation but ultrasounds, so it is suitable for pregnant and under 30 years.
5. Check your implants
Although the current implants used are of high quality and more resistant than those of previous decades, from the age of 10 the possibility of early rupture of the same increases.
Fortunately, there are imaging media such as ultrasound and mammary MRI that can diagnose implant rupture in very early stages. To ensure its good condition, it is recommended:
– Have an ultrasound every 2 years during the first 10 years after implantation.
– Perform a resonance the tenth year and make annual ultrasounds thereafter.
– Perform resonances every 5 or 10 years from the tenth year of life of the prosthesis.
6. Improve the posture
To keep your chest firm, it is important that you maintain a good posture. Forward shoulders favor the fall of the chest and can also cause back pain.
7. Protect yourself from the sun
Protects the skin from the cleavage, or all breasts if you topless, from the effects of the sun with cream with sunscreen of high factor. The skin in this area is especially thin and sensitive and if exposed too much to the sun, it can wrinkle or become easily dehydrated.
In addition, skin blemishes such as lentigines and actinic keratoses can occur.
8. Alcohol and tobacco, OUT
Studies have confirmed that both smoking and alcohol use generate an increased risk of breast cancer. Women who drink three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% greater risk of suffering from it.
In addition, smokers also have more possibilities and not just lung. Other organs may be affected as the tobacco carcinogens are stored in the tissues.
9. Ask for a Genetic Advice if there is a history of breast cancer in your family
If many of your relatives have had cancer, it is best to request a Genetic Counseling to know if it is associated with a genetic mutation. BCRA1 and BCRA2 are genes that produce proteins responsible for tumor suppression. If you have inherited mutations in these genes, the risk of cancer increases. A Genetic Counsel will not only detect it, but will also help you to guide strategies for monitoring and reducing risk.
10. Breast palpation in the gynecological examination
In your annual gynecological examinations you should include a breast palpation by the doctor. If you do not do it, ask for it.