It's October!!! Pinktober actually, breast cancer awareness month!!!! But unfortunately..... (sorry to dampen the mood), most women do not remember to self-examine the other months of the year. I, definitely, am a happy, enthusiastic boob-kneader in October but in April...not so much. And can you blame us?It's because October is the period when breast cancer awareness peaks and when everyone is running a race for the cause or wearing the pink ribbon. Every month should be boob-month! Pagesbyike will be putting up monthly reminders to get us to feel-up our chest hills a little more often.
Here's a 3-point reminder on how to self-examine!
The boob-stare down
Funny, did you know we spend an average of 55 minutes a day staring at our faces in the mirror? Flipping the mascara, dabbing the lip gloss, making ourselves insta-worthy. If we could just let our eyes drop just a bit to boob-level for 5 minutes to stare at our breasts. Just 5 minutes. Know thy breasts. Seriously. Know everything about them. The shape, color, look out for changes; dimpling, swelling in the nipples. If you saw your boobs in a line-up, you should be able to recognize them in an instant.
(Chimamanda has officially ruined this word for me. Lol. Think Americanah)
Lie down on your back with your face to the ceiling and with one hand behind your head (see illustration), check for any lumps with the pad of your fingers (not your finger tips). If you feel a mass, check the other breast at the same location for a similar mass. If it's there too, its probably a-ok.
The shower is a great place to check too; 1) because you are, well, naked and 2) because your soapy fingers help to glide along the breast, which i find makes the task easier. Check for the same signs in (1).
Best time to check your breasts: A few days after your period, when it's less sore.
If you find a lump, do not panic. 8 out of 10 discovered lumps are not cancerous, pretty good odds. Schedule an appointment with your care provider and have it examined as soon as possible.
Please remember to share. 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are discovered by women who feel a lump. Let's keep reminding eachother, so that one day, we'll watch that pink ribbon go extinct.