If you’re a regular reader or our blog, you know it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that we’re covering topics related to breast cancer and rehabilitation throughout October. In this article, we are going to explain how women (and men) can check themselves for breast cancer, and what to do if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Checking yourself for breast cancer is quick and easy. Catching breast cancer early is crucial to effectively treating and recovering from the cancer. It’s recommended that all women, regardless of age, give themselves a self-exam for breast cancer once a month. Men don’t need to perform self-exams quite that often, but should do so once every few months at the very least. Self-exams can be done in a few minutes at home. Here are three ways to check yourself for breast cancer:
- While Showering. Using your fingers and palm, move your breast in a circular motion, starting at the outside and moving towards the center. You’re looking for any unusual lumps, or thickness.
- Looking at a Mirror. Stand in front of a mirror and examine the visual aspects of your breasts. Look for any changes in color, size, contour, swelling, dimpling, etc. Do the same visual examination while raising your arms in the air, and flexing your chest muscles.
- Lying Down. Lie down on your bed, couch, or floor and place a pillow under your left shoulder. Use your right hand to move your left breast in a circular motion (outside to center) and be on the lookout for any lumps. Then gently squeeze the nipple and check for lumps and discharge. Repeat for the right breast.
It’s all about familiarizing yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel, and recognizing any changes that may occur. If you recognize anything out of the ordinary, make an appointment with your doctor.
Physical Therapy for Breast Cancer Patients
OrthoRehab Specialists has been providing physical therapy care for over twenty five years to patients throughout the Twin Cities Metro area. Our physical therapists offer direct access to care, so you can meet with us without a prescription from your doctor. Many people don’t realize that physical therapy can be incredibly helpful to breast cancer patients who struggle with pain and range-of-motion issues after treatment. Give us a call at our Minneapolis or Edina physical therapy clinics today to set up your appointment with one of our Minnesota rehabilitation specialists.