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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 June 13, 2019

        5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

        5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

        Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

        You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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        1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

        It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

        Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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        2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

        If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

        3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

        If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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        4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

        A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

        5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

        If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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        Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

        Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

        Reference

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