Performing a Breast Self-Exam
Giving yourself a breast self-exam about once a month can be an important part of detecting and treating cancer early on, especially when used in combination with other testing, such as regular mammograms. Breast self-exam is a convenient, no-cost tool that you can use on a regular basis and at any age. While you may know that this is something you should be doing often, you may not be sure what to do. Performing a breast self-exam is simple, with just five steps.
- Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. You should look to make sure that your breasts are their usual size, shape, and color without any visible distortion or swelling. If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention.
- Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
- A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
- Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
- While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
- Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
- Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.
Information from breastcancer.org. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam
Preventing Breast Cancer
During the month of October, it’s easy to remember that you need to schedule that mammogram you’ve been putting off, but breast health awareness is something we should be thinking about year round. While an annual mammogram and regular breast self-exams are great ways to detect possible breast cancer, they don’t do much to prevent it. However, there are steps you can take to prevent breast cancer, as well as other cancers.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks.
- If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
- Breastfeed your children, if possible.
- If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.
Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.
Information from cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm
Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Vegetables
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large red bell peppers, diced
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound raw shrimp, (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Step 1: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.
Step 2: Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.
Recipe from eatingwell.com. https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249648/lemon-garlic-shrimp-vegetables/