Know your breasts!
So what’s the deal with all this talk about checking your breasts? The distinction between “awareness” (knowing your body so that you can notice and report changes) and “checking your breasts” (regularly, systematically feeling for lumps) is subtle and can be confusing for young women. Nearly 80 percent of young women find their breast abnormalities themselves. However, studies show that there are no changes to mortality between women who naturally notice and report a change that turns out to be breast cancer and those who are proactively checking for lumps and changes and find an abnormality that turns out to be breast cancer. Also, because breast cancer is so rare in women 40 and under, young women should be made aware that “checking” their breasts too frequently for lumps can result in an increased number of healthcare visits and twice the number of benign biopsy results.
Rethink Breast Cancer recommends that all young women should be familiar with their breasts and promptly report any change to their healthcare provider. This does not need to be done in any specific formalized way. We use the phrase “Show Your Breasts Some TLC” as a simple recommendation to: TOUCH your breasts. Can you feel anything unusual? LOOK for changes. Is there any change in shape or texture? CHECK anything unusual with your doctor. That’s all there is to it! Periodic consistent “TLC” can help make it easier to be breast aware.