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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 December 2, 2018

        How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

        How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

        Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

        The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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        The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

        Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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        Review Your Past Flow

        Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

        Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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        Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

        Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

        Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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        Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

        Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

        We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

        Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

          Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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