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  • Writer's pictureAnne O

Why You Should Do a Self Breast Examination Every Month

A self breast examination is when you observe and examine your breasts by yourself with aims to ensure that they are no abnormalities that may point to early signs of breast cancer or breast disease and if any, that you find it early enough and get treatment before it progresses or degenerates.

It is recommended that you do this at least once every month outside your monthly menstrual period for females while for males, anytime of the month. Breast cancer is a disheartening and morbid disease and so doing all you can to prevent its occurrence is a must for all. The old saying "prevention is better than cure " is an apt adage here.

Breast cancer costs a lot of money to treat and manage however, it causes a whole lot more than financial drain. Grief, emotional and psychological pain, time, resources, mental distress and sometimes the loss of a loved one all come with it. Studies of cancer management have estimated that accumulated cost of breast cancer treatment may vary from $29, 724 for stage I cancer to $62, 108 for stage IV depending on the country and region*.

personally, I have experienced first hand the emotional turmoil and grief associated with breast cancer management. A couple of years ago, I lost a bossom friend to breast cancer. She was in her mid-thirties and was excited about starting a new family when cancer struck. It was an agonising experience losing such a sweet fellow, friend and colleague. Yet, she isn't the only one I know who has died from breast cancer or suffered from breast cancer complications.

In variance, I have also had patients and loved ones who discovered breast lumps in their breasts from self examination and had it excised early enough. I am happy to say they have since gone ahead to become mothers and healthy living beings today. The picture will mostly have been different a decade or less down the road if nothing had been done about the breast lump they discovered.

I often check my breasts and the monthly breast examination reminder we post on our Instagram blog @mums24 continues to help me along with other women (and men) who follow us, to do same. In addition, I sometimes get a colleague to help double check with my own findings from time to time and you should too whenever you go for your annual medical checks or whenever you visit the hospital.

If you are 40 years old and above, it is recommended that you have a mammogram done once every two years or as recommended by your physician. The same goes for females who have a high risk of breast cancer.

Should you need help with learning how to do a self breast examination, send us an email and we will help lead you in the right direction. Do well to make the best health decisions for yourself and your loved ones daily.

Dr Anne Olowu

*Source: Global Treatment Costs of Breast Cancer by Stage: A systematic Review by Li Sun and co

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