How Do You Check Yourself For Breast Cancer? How Do You Decrease Your Risk?
Each year, more than 40,000 women die of breast cancer. You can check yourself for breast cancer with just your hands and the right technique. In fact, applying these selfed groomed skills can decrease your risk. Although there is no cure for this horrendous disease, modern medicine offers an abundance of treatment options that can be lifesaving. Of course, as with any cancer treatment, starting early is key.
Each year in October, we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With fall getting underway, now is a great time to review some tips on how to detect breast cancer early and keep you and your loved ones healthy.
Self-Check | Self Examination
No one knows your body like you do. This means that you are the first line of defense when something goes wrong. Breast cancer can affect all women, regardless of age, lifestyle, or background. That being said, it primarily affects women aged 40 and older. Those falling in this age group should be particularly vigilant with self-screening.
Of course, it’s not a bad idea for all women to regularly perform a breast self-exam. A breast self-exam for “breast awareness” is a safe way to become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. Breast self-exams should be done at least once a month. However, women in the high-risk age group may want to do it more often.
Doing a self-breast exam is easy and only takes a few minutes to complete. First, you should get familiar with what your breasts look and feel like normally. You’ll compare this to what you find any time you do a self-breast exam in the future.
To start, you can stand in front of a mirror or lie down on a flat surface. Then raise your left arm above your head while using the opposite hand to gently feel the left breast. Starting at the nipple, use the pads of your fingers and move outward, imagining the 12 digits of a clock. Feel for lumps, thickened areas, and abnormal textures while moving in each of these directions. Come back to the center of your breast each time before moving outward. There are many techniques on how to check for breast cancer.
Schedule a Visit | Annual Physical
While checking yourself is important, it’s also a good idea to check in regularly with your doctor. Scheduling a visit for an annual physical can help spot problems before they get worse and give you peace of mind.
In addition, women over the age of 40 may want to consider getting a mammogram. According to guidelines from the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 40-49 should
choose if they want to get an annual mammogram. Women over the age of 50 should get an annual mammogram.
By getting screened regularly, it’s more likely that you’ll catch breast cancer in its early stages. This means that it may respond better to treatments and leave you with a better outcome.
It’s no secret that pink has become the universal color of breast cancer awareness. There is never a shortage of pink attire and decor during the month of October. That’s good news because bringing attention to the disease is a great way to encourage people to practice prevention.
During the month of October and beyond, work on spreading awareness about the early prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Doing so might save a life.
Velocity Urgent Care is Here to Help
If you find something concerning while doing a breast self-exam or just want some peace of mind with a regular screening, it’s important to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Going to urgent care might not be your first instinct, but it can be a great choice for those who don’t have a primary care physician. At Velocity Urgent Care, we are ready to help.
Our friendly, board-certified providers will complete a health history questionnaire and perform a physical exam when you come to visit. Then, they can refer you to a specialist for quick and easy follow-up care.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking serious safety precautions to ensure that our locations are as clean as possible. We’ve put strict sterilization protocols into place and are carefully handling patients who may be contagious to ensure that each one of our clinics is safe for those who need urgent medical care or occupational health services.
Skip The Wait
Velocity Urgent Care offers convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during a visit. You can sign up for an appointment online ahead of time and arrive when it’s time to be seen to skip the waiting room. We even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment.
Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible. All of our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome. To find out more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.