Breast Health and Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month.

Over this month women are encouraging other women across the country to take control of their breast health. Families affected by breast cancer band together to support research, prevention and to encourage those going through treatment or experiencing loss at this hand of this disease.

Prevention is the strongest defense to the trauma and devastating effects of breast cancer. 

Self exams are often the first step in identifying changes in breast tissue and catching cancer at early stages when treatments are often more successful.

Checking yourself for changes in breast tissue is free, doesn't take long and can save your life. 

40% of all breast cancer diagnoses begin with women finding a lump or something unusual. 

Self exams should be done at least once per month. 

This regular check up will keep you familiar with your normal breast tissue. You'll find irregularities faster, making it faster to alert your concerns to your doctor. 

Can't I just get a mammogram? 

Yes and you should!

A mammogram can detect traces of cancer before you can feel a lump in your breast tissue, bringing it to the top of the list for screening and prevention. 

Alongside regular medical screening, self examinations allow women to be comfortable and familiar with their body and more in tune with changes.

How do you perform a self exam?

In front of a mirror you'll be able to see any physical changes in shape, color, or texture of your skin. No two breasts are the same, so don't panic if you aren't perfectly symmetrical. What you're looking for is puckering, dimpling or rippling under the skin. 

In the shower or lying down, using the pads of your four fingers move around your breast and armpit area in a circular pattern. Feel for any firm or thickening knots or areas. Alternate between light, medium and firmer pressure to feel through the layers of tissue. 

Prevention is vital.

Feel empowered to check yourself and seek medical screening on a regular basis, promoting healthy breast habits to friends and loved ones.

We encourage you to support local and national breast cancer efforts this month to raise awareness to prevention, treatments and emotional support for patients. 

Stand together with Arkansas Family Doulas for breast health during October.