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1 In 8 Women Develops Breast Cancer, Learn More About Breast Self-Exam Now

1 In 8 Women Develops Breast Cancer, Learn More About Breast Self-Exam Now

According to statistics revealed by breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, reports of new cases of invasive breast cancer were estimated to be around 246,660.

Among all the cancers, breast cancer is the one that we can spot early by ourselves. And breast self-exam is an effective way to do so. The American Cancer Society has advised women to conduct breast self-exams as an optional screening tool.

The Step-by-Step Procedure for the Breast Self-Exam

Use the following five steps for self-examination of your breasts.

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    Step 1: Stand in front of the mirror with your arms on your hips and your shoulders straight.

    Check the appearance of the breasts. Are they their usual size, shape, and color? Are they evenly shaped or do they have any visible distortion or swelling? Look out for dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin. Have either of the nipples changed position or become inverted (pushed inward instead of sticking out)? Is there any soreness, rashes, redness, or swelling?

    If you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms, bring them to your doctor’s attention.

    Step 2: Raise your arms, hold them above the head and look for the same changes mentioned in step 1.

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    Step 3: See if there is any sign of watery, milky, or yellow fluid or even blood leaking from one or both of the nipples.

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      Step 4: Lie down on your bed and feel your breasts while keeping the fingers flat and together, checking for unusual bumps or lumps. Use your right hand to feel your left breast and vice versa. Your touch must be firm and smooth using the first few fingers of your hand. The entire breast from top to bottom and side to side must be examined; from the armpit to the cleavage and from the collarbone to the top of your abdomen.

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        Step 5: Sit up or stand and examine your breasts once more as mentioned in step 4. You may find this easier to do when your skin is wet and slippery, maybe while taking a shower. Use the same hand movements and examine your entire breasts.

        Notes

        You can journal or keep a record of your breast examinations with notes on what you observed and where you felt lumps or irregularities. Lumps may appear and disappear for some people as their body changes with the menstrual cycle.

        If the changes last beyond a full menstrual cycle or if they seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way, it’s wise to consult your doctor for advice.

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        Conclusion

        Though a women’s risk of breast cancer doubles if she has a first degree relative (mother or sister) with the same disease, only less than 15% of women with breast cancer have a relative diagnosed with it. The remaining 85% occurs in women without any family history of breast cancer. This is believed to be because of genetic mutations that result from aging rather than inherited mutations.

        You probably have no desire to do a breast self-exam, and many women find this a very frustrating experience as it is not easy to make sense of the findings. But don’t worry too much; the more you examine your breasts, the more familiar you become with them and it becomes much easier to spot an unusual occurrence.

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        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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