Big breasts. Small breasts. Fibrous breasts. Floppy breasts. Natural breasts. Artificial breasts. None of these things mean a thing to me. All I care about is that you have healthy breasts!
How Do You Know if Your Breasts Are Healthy?
The best way to find out if your breasts are healthy is to get to know them well. You are your first line of defense against breast cancer and other issues.
I know quite a few women who don’t like to do their own breast exams because they have very fibrous breasts, which can make them feel like they found something wrong when nothing is actually wrong.
That’s why it’s crucial you become familiar with your own breasts – so that you do know when something doesn’t feel quite right. That way you can get your breasts checked out and can get a diagnosis early.
Many women choose not to do self-checks because they’re scared they may find something. For those of you who fall into this category, keep this in mind: with cancer, the earlier it’s diagnosed, the better.
Rest assured, 60-80% of all breast lumps are benign. So the odds are good that if you find a lump in your breast, it will be harmless. Even so, it’s still best to contact your doctor immediately and have them take a look. Breast cancer is still the most common cancer in women over 40 years of age and occurs in 1 out of every 11 women.
The question I get asked most often about healthy breasts is: “How should I check my breasts?”
Many women are scared that they are “doing it wrong.” But although it may seem like there’s a right way to check your breasts, there’s not. The most important thing that you can do is to know how your breasts usually look and feel. If something changes, you’ll know, and then you can enlist the help of your doctor.
Sadly, our society keeps breast health under wraps so many women don’t even know where to begin with “getting to know their breasts.” Here are some pointers for checking your breasts:
- Know what’s normal for you.
- Look at your breasts in the mirror with your arms raised and then lowered.
- Feel each breast and armpit up to your collarbone. (Using soapy water in the shower is helpful.)
- Know what changes to look for.
- Report any changes to your doctor without delay.
So What Do Normal Breasts Look Like, and What is Normal Breast Shape?
That depends on what your normal is. Women’s breasts are different sizes, shapes, and consistencies. It’s even possible that one of your breasts may be larger than the other.
Discover your normal.
Your breasts may naturally feel different at different times of the month, particularly during your menstrual cycle. After menopause, your breasts feel softer, less firm, and not as lumpy.
Another quick tip: Making sure that your breasts are healthy is just one more reason to get an Annual Physical. My team and I would be happy to check your breasts then.
But if you have more questions about breast health now, need a breast exam sooner, or need support in learning how to do a self-check, we’re here for you today! Contact us for an appointment.