A step-by-step guide to detect and prevent breast cancer at home: Fujiifilm experts

Every 4 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in India. Every 8 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer in India. Breast cancer has become ordinary cancer in urban women in India and the second most common in rural women. Early detection remains the most important step to counter the soaring number of breast cancer cases. Regular self-breast exams are something every woman should feel comfortable and confident doing as a part of a healthcare regime.

 

The ongoing lockdown is an anxious time for all of us, particularly for those who have health concerns. Understandably, women might be worried about leaving their homes for diagnosis during the pandemic but they can self-examine their breasts at regular intervals staying at home by way of breast self-examination. As October marks the Breast Cancer Awareness month, Fujifilm India urges you to get a preventive breast cancer examination. The main, most important and simplest thing to do is to learn how to self-examine for breast cancer.

There are some easy steps to follow:

Step 1: Look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Notice the shape.

Step 2: Raise your arms and look for skin changes such as skin dimpling, skin ulceration or elevation.

Step 3:  Look for nipple flattening or inversion. Do not try to express nipple discharge. Again, look for changes in the breast shape, the nipple appearance or differences between the breasts.

Step 4:  Next see a firm, smooth touch with the first few fingertips of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion to feel the breast.

Step 5: Feel your breasts while standing or sitting. The easiest way to feel your breasts is when the skin is wet and slippery.

Preventative Care

 There is no evidence to suggest that a particular technique works best, but checking your breasts regularly is vital. The goal of screening for early breast cancer detection is to identify breast abnormalities as early as possible. A mammogram can find breast cancer before it can be felt. The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment will be.

Know Your Risk Factor

 It’s all about knowing your risk level. Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to examine themselves, so it’s important for women to know their family history. A physician or genetic counselor can help you understand your family history of the disease.

A Healthy Lifestyle

 Breast cancer risk can be lowered by making healthy lifestyle practices like being physically active by doing daily exercise, maintaining a balanced diet and healthy weight, opting for early pregnancy and breastfeeding, avoiding smoking and alcohol. Researches show that when your weight is under control especially as you age, the risk for breast cancer decreases.

Breastfeed 

Some research suggests that breastfeeding potentially plays an important role in breast-cancer prevention. Mothers who breastfeed their babies for six months or longer may have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

 Taking a combination of estrogen and progestin for a prolonged period upsurges the risk of developing breast cancer. Women taking this hormone combination to combat menopausal symptoms should consult with their physician about other alternatives available. If it's determined that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risk, the lowest effective dose should be prescribed.

It is time to invest in your well-being and health by setting short-term self-preservation targets. With a positive mindset and an unwavering will, the battle against cancer is easily winnable.