The Ultimate D-I-Y for Y-O-U

We understand. You’re busy!

Whether you’re growing your own vegetables, baking sourdough bread, crafting with the kids, or working from home, there’s a lot going on right now. And when you’re busy, self-care takes a back seat to everything else, and so do doctor visits.

But here is a project that should be on your D-I-Y list – get to know what’s normal for your breasts. Then if something doesn’t look or feel right, call your doctor to schedule an appointment, even if it’s not time for your yearly exam.

Early breast cancer detection is a key to better health

While annual mammograms are the gold standard, following these three easy steps will help you spot changes in your breasts in between visits:

  1. Know what’s normal for your breasts. What’s normal for you isn’t necessarily what’s normal for other women.
  2. Know the 9. There are 9 symptoms that can alert you to possible breast cancer.1-3 Knowing the symptoms means you’ll know what to look for.
  3. Know when to call the doctor. If you notice something isn’t normal, you’ll know it’s time to call for an appointment with your doctor.

This doesn’t replace your annual mammogram, but it does give you more ways to help yourself stay healthy. Think of it as a blueprint for breast health. Make yourself a priority. The Ultimate D-I-Y for Y-O-U is knowing what’s normal for your breasts!

Plus, the earlier you know you have cancer, the more treatment options you have.

Why a DIY self-exam is so important

  • 4 out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer found a lump in their breast themselves.4 So noticing any changes in your breasts can make a difference.
  • There are 9 signs of breast cancer—a breast lump is just one of them! Get to know your breasts and get to know the 9, especially if you haven’t had your annual mammogram this year.1-3
  • Early detection is the key to the successful treatment of breast cancer. You’ll have more options the earlier the cancer is found.4
  • According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%?1

Know the 9!

Think of this as part of your checklist for breast health. There are 9 symptoms that can signal breast cancer – a lump is just one.

Keep the 9 in mind when you do a self-exam:

  1. A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.

  2. A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.

  3. A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.

  4. A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.

  5. A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple such as dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed.

  6. Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.

  7. A change in shape or position of the nipple, such as an inverted nipple.

  8. An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.

  9. A marble-like hardened area under the skin.

Looking for more information on breast cancer?
References: 1. 2020 American Cancer Society. 2. 2020 CDC. 3. 2020 ASCO. 4. 2020 Johns Hopkins Medicine.