Breast Health

Taking Care of Your Girls

Health Guides: Breast Health
 

The power to maintain your breast health is in your hands

Just like snowflakes, no two women’s breasts are exactly alike. So, what’s normal for you may not be normal for someone else. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by many things, such as your age and weight, whether you’ve had children, medications and hormones you’re taking and whether you’re still getting your period.

Breasts are made up of a complex network of lobes and ducts that carry milk and other fluids throughout the breast. There are no muscles in the breasts, so those bust-building exercises you may have done as a teenager were actually pointless.

Regular breast exams are the best way to catch any changes in your breasts before they become a serious or even potentially fatal problem.

Three things you can do today to improve your overall breast health:

  • Learn how to do a proper breast self exam (BSE) and schedule your annual mammogram, if you haven’t already done so.
  • Only wear bras that fit correctly. Aim to reduce the time you spend wearing a bra.
  • Love your breasts. A positive attitude about your body and your breasts will go a long way toward overall good health.
  • It’s normal for your breasts to not be exactly alike.
  • Breast changes happen throughout your life.
  • See your doctor for any unusual breast changes.

Reduce Your Risk:

  • Quit smoking
  • Commit to a more active lifestyle
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than an average of one drink per day
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Schedule regular cancer screenings

Screening Types

  • BSE should be performed once a month a few days after your period.
  • Clinical Breast Exams, where the breast and armpit are felt and examined for lumps and anything else that seems abnormal, are conducted by a doctor.
  • Mammograms are x-rays of the breast that may find tumors that are too small to feel during BSE.
  • MRI or ultrasound can both be used to determine if a breast lump is malignant or benign. These tests can find lumps in dense tissue.