Dr. Lee Colony In: Breast Health
For many people, October means the exciting new beginning of fall, when the crisp air revitalizes our senses and reminds us that cozier times are on the horizon. But October brings an even more important reminder when it comes to our health and wellbeing. As the official breast cancer awareness month for the United States, October is the perfect time to put our breast health first with simple ways to maintain or improve the health of your breasts. Michigan Plastic Surgery is here to support women through their breast health journeys and proudly offers reconstructive breast procedures to the incredibly brave women who have been affected by breast cancer.
From October 1st-31st, breast cancer is the main topic of conversation when it comes to the national spotlight. By bringing increased awareness to breast cancer each and every day this month, we encourage women to take the steps necessary to maintain and improve their breast health. The National Breast Cancer Foundation also encourages women to engage in specific routines and activities like self-breast exams, regular mammography, and paying attention to bodily changes that can improve their breast health in October and beyond.
There is an easy way to screen yourself for any abnormalities of the breast tissue without even leaving your home. A self-breast exam is something that anyone can do to identify lumps, bumps, or cysts in the breasts, and you don’t need a medical degree to do this. Doing a self-exam once a month not only makes you familiar with your breasts, which is important for noticing any changes but is also an incredible early detection method that could save your life should you receive a breast cancer diagnosis.
You can perform a self-breast exam wherever you are comfortable being topless. Many women will do this in the shower, or in the mirror while changing. You can also lie on your back to perform the exam if you prefer. Using the tips of your three middle fingers you will press down on every part of each breast and underarm to identify any new lumps are changes. You should also make note of any discoloration or changes in the nipples.
A mammogram uses X-ray technology to scan the breast tissue, often identifying lumps or calcium clusters long before they are able to be felt during a self-exam. Women above the age of 40 should attend their mammogram every year. If you are under the age of 40 and have a predisposition to breast cancer, you should speak with your provider to develop a screening schedule that works best for you. Even if you do not have symptoms of breast cancer or a family history that would indicate you’re at a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, it is still important to attend these preventative care appointments. The key is to catch breast cancer early.
The possibility of being diagnosed with cancer is a truly terrifying thought, but there are ways that we can take control of our health to ease the fear and possibility of a cancer diagnosis. The main way is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle by engaging in the following healthy habits:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do not smoke.
- Eat fruits and veggies.
- Keep an active lifestyle.
- Reduce alcohol intake.
When you design a healthy lifestyle to target a specific body part or condition, you are also making wonderful contributions to your overall health. With that being said, your overall health can also impact smaller or more specific conditions, so it is best to approach your breast health in a comprehensive way by developing habits that put your overall health first.
Getting back to feeling like yourself after battling cancer can be a daunting process, but Michigan Plastic Surgery is here to help you get one step closer to normalcy. We offer reconstructive breast surgery to patients wishing to realize their curves again after a single or double mastectomy. To get in touch with our amazing team and schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee Colony, fill out our online contact form, or call us at 517-333-4960.