Woman are told to perform ‘formal’ self-breast exams each month. I completely, 100% agree with this. I also believe it is super important for a woman to know her breasts on a day to day basis. While you’re in the shower soaping up or while you are putting body lotion on, say “hey” to your breasts! Get to know the shape and feel of them.
For many of us, getting to know our breasts may be an uncomfortable concept.
The normal function of our breasts is to secrete milk in order to provide food for our infants. They are also a source of sexual attraction and stimulation. I believe it is the latter that can be a road block that keeps us from getting to know our breasts.
Maybe your boobs are lopsided, maybe you feel they’re too small, or maybe you judge your breasts on the images you see on T.V. and in the movies. Whatever the reason, there seems to be a disconnection between us, our boobs and our health.
I personally never did a formal monthly breast exam on myself. I did (and continue to) know my breasts from day to day familiarity. I have always felt comfortable in this regard. So in the summer of 2006, when I felt a lump on my left breast near my armpit, I knew something wasn’t right. As it turned out, it was cancer.
This made me curious. Were my girlfriends feeling and touching their boobs? Did they know how they felt and what was ‘normal’? So I asked around and shockingly, many said no, they did not touch their breasts on a regular basis or perform monthly self-breast exams.
So, please, don’t be shy with yourself. Get to know your breasts. Check them regularly, and watch for any changes.
- Know how they normally look and feel
- Recognize normal changes due to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation or aging
- Look them over carefully
- Feel them carefully with your hands
- Remind your spouse or partner to always tell you if they see or feel any change
I’m not insinuating that knowing your breasts will prevent breast cancer, but it’s most certainly a critical step in taking care of yourself and knowing your body.