Everyone with breasts should read this!

By admin
03 November 2015

You should be worried about breast cancer. Don’t delay – here’s a guide to help you do a breast self-exam today.


A breast self-exam is the best way to detect breast cancer early – and it applies to both men and women.

Dr Carol-Ann Benn is one of the top breast-cancer experts in South Africa and founder of the Helen Joseph Breast Care Clinic in Johannesburg. She answers five key questions about breast health.

1 What is a breast self-exam?

A regular check you perform by hand on your breasts.

2 How do I do a breast self-exam?


Examine your breasts standing up and lying down:

Stand with your hands on your hips in front of a mirror. Examine your breasts for lumps; changes in size; changes in the skin, including bulging, dimpling or puckering, soreness, swelling, redness or rash; a nipple that’s become inverted or changed position; fluid coming out of a nipple; lumps or swelling under the arm.

Lie down and feel your breasts using your right hand on your left breast and vice versa. Keep your fingers flat and together while moving across your breasts in firm circular motions. For each breast work your way from top to bottom and side to side. It’s important to include the armpits.

3 When should I do a breast self-exam?

Every month at the end of your menstrual cycle.

Even if you’ve had a mastectomy you should feel and examine the scar.

If you don’t have a menstrual cycle – due to hysterectomy or menopause – do it on the same day every month.

Men should also do these once a month.

4 Why should I do a breast self-exam?

There’s no symptom that can reliably diagnose breast cancer, nor any you should dismiss as being of no concern. A breast self-exam is the best way to educate yourself and become aware of what feels “normal” for your body. Regular breast self-exams make it more likely you’ll seek help if you detect any abnormalities. All abnormalities should be investigated, but remember nine out of 10 won’t be cancer.

5 What if I spot something?

See your doctor or gynaecologist, or visit a clinic or hospital as soon as possible.

PROTECT YOURSELF RIGHT NOW Make sure right now that you and your children have the necessary cover. Click here for information on the All Woman policy from 1Life or SMS “woman” to 42711 and 1Life will call you back. WATCH THIS What would you do? Fatima Sherazi was diagnosed with breast cancer a week after she found out she was pregnant. This is what she did. Pink stilettos See what breast cancer survivor Cheryl de Wit did on her last day of chemo and how she learnt to live minute by minute.


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