Y Breast Self- Exam?


As October comes to a close, we cannot simply take off the armor and halt the fight for breast cancer awareness. This fight is one that has touched the lives of women everywhere, so we must carry the torch and strewn it through the years round. 

Statistics according to The Department of Health and Human Services has shown in the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Progress Review Group, a focus on Research and Care Imperatives for Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer and the astounding statistics for young people fighting Breast Cancer were prevalent. “Each year, approximately 70 thousand men and women age 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the US. Breast cancer accounts for roughly 15% of all cancers in this age group.”

So as we continue exploring the world of the Y woman, her body and the influence the ‘C- word’ has had on who we are and who we will be emotionally, psychologically and physically throughout the next decade; We must advocate to be our own medical expert. You see nobody knows your body like you do, so by starting to explore it and understanding how it works, you will be your own best shot at early detection.

As the years roll on for the Y woman, our bodies begin to take on new dimensions and they start to tell new stories. Your body acts as proof of the importance in taking active care of YOU! Eating healthy is a grand part of the equation, but with “Women ages 15 to 34 and 35 to 54 die(ing) more frequently from breast cancer than any other cancer” according to The National Cancer Institute, performing ‘Breast Self-Exams’ is now a duty every Y woman should start to calendar.

So what is a ‘Breast Self- Exam’?

Well, it is the same exam your Gynecologist performs on you every time you go to that most awkward yearly appointment; adult women are encouraged to be performing them at least once a month on themselves to improve chances for early detection.

According to Jonhs Hopkins Medical Center “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

Having familiarity with the look and feel of your breasts is like checking the tire pressure of your car, it becomes customary to make sure you didn’t get a nail stuck in it, that could eventually cause the loss of air. According to The National Breast Cancer Foundation {www.nationalbeastcancer.org} ‘Self- Examinations’ should be done in three locations: in the shower, in front of a mirror and lying down. Here is where you will be looking out for: lumps, thickening of the exterior skin or hardened knots in the breast.

While you are in the shower massage your breasts from the outer scope towards the center respectively, using the pads of your fingers to examine the entire breast and armpit area. When you make your way to the mirror place your arms at your sides and slowly raise them above your head, with this motion you will be observing for any dimpling of the skin or changes of appearance in the nipples. Resting your hand on your hips and flexing your armpit muscles is also an active way to observe changes in the area. Lastly, lie down will a pillow placed under your shoulder, arm and behind your head so that your breast tissue spreads evenly along your chest wall; while you are lying down repeat the circular hand motion around the breast to detect for changes.

It is imperative that you reach out to your physician if you feel any sort of change in your breast. As surprising as it is to many young women who are affected by this monster in their twenties, just at the stage when feeling invincible is practically a requirement, it’s important that Y’s are advocating for early detection. The earlier we start to know the inner workings of our bodies, the better it will be for our generation and those to come.


A wonderful resource for support if you have any further questions or concerns is the: The Young Survival Coalition {http://www.youngsurvival.org}.