What is Self-Breast Examination?
A Self-Breast Examination is a technique which allows an individual to examine her breast tissue for any physical or visual changes. It is often used for early detection method of any breast abnormality such as Breast cancer, Fribro-Adenoma (Breast Lump) e.t.c.
The breast is one of the upper ventral parts in human beings. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk to feed infants. Milk exists the breast through the nipple, which is surrounded by a pigmented area of the skin called the areola. The areola contains modified sweat glands known as Montgomery’s glands which secrete oily fluid that lubricates and protect the nipple during breastfeeding.
Breast size and other characteristics do not predict the fat-to-milk gland ration or the potential for the woman to nurse an infant. The size and shape of the woman are influenced by normal life hormonal changes such as Thelarche, Menstruation, Pregnancy, Menopause, and other medical conditions such as Breast Hypertrophy. There is a common belief that breastfeeding causes breasts to sag, Researchers have discovered that a woman’s breast sag due to four important factors: Cigarette Smoking, number of pregnancies, gravity, and weight loss or gain. During Thelarche i.e the breast development stage, the developing breasts are sometimes of unequal size, and usually the left breast is slightly larger, this condition is statistically normal in female physical and sexual development.
Methods of Self-Breast Examination
There are 3 methods in which self-breast examination is carried out Namely:
· 🍅Observation: Inspect in front of a mirror for any abnormal change in size, shape, contour of the skin, dimpling of the skin, swelling and changes in the nipple.
· 🍅Palpation: Palpate for any abnormal lumps- By;
-Place the fingers flat and press gently in a circular motion on the breast.
-Move the hand round clock-wise starting from the outer side of the breast or the collar bone.
-Move hand towards the nipple until the whole breast is palpated up to the nipple.
· 🍅 Squeezing: Squeeze the nipple for any abnormal discharges e.g Fluid, blood, abnormal secretions.
Note: BSE is usually best after the start of menstruation i.e. 4-7 days after menstruation, and same day of every month for post-menopausal women.
Benefits of Self-Breast Examination
· 🌳Enables the woman to know to know more about her breasts, body and changes during ovulation and menstruation.
· 🌳Allows early detection of any abnormal breast changes.
· 🌳 Enables the woman to seek early, medical help.