According to the American Cancer Society, breast self-awareness is an understanding and appreciation of how one’s breasts look and feel normally. Research has shown that over the past few decades, traditional monthly self-breast exams (BSE), did identify more cancers. It also resulted in many more biopsies of benign lesions. In addition to BSE, leading research institutions are making recommendation for breast self-awareness in combination with bi or tri monthly BSE and episodic clinical visits. In addition, mammograms are recommended annually for women over 40.
Generally breast cancer awareness begins with knowing thyself. Simply be aware of the anatomy and physiology of your breasts and scan for change in appearance or texture. Feel free to check on a regular basis but also be aware/ mindful of your body during activities of daily living, like showering and dressing. It’s likely that at those times one can become aware when something feels or appears differently. Report any unusual changes to your healthcare professional immediately a breast self-exam implies that there is a specific technique that should be performed to determine if a problem exists, while breast self-awareness empowers one to know their own bodies and know when to seek additional medical evaluation.