Breast cancer remains one of the most prevalent forms of cancer affecting women worldwide. However, armed with knowledge and proactive measures, individuals can significantly contribute to early detection and improved outcomes. Understanding the statistics, timing, and method of self-examination are crucial components of breast cancer awareness.

Know the Stats

Awareness begins with understanding the numbers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most common cancer among women globally, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases diagnosed in 2020 alone. Additionally, it is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women.

Timing Matters

Timing is everything when it comes to self-examination. It is recommended that you examine yourself on the 7th day of your mensturation so your breasts are not tender and any underlying lump can easily be detected. It is advised that you check youself on the exact same date the next month as well so you can detect changes if any.

Experts recommend conducting breast self-exams shortly after showering. The warm water relaxes the breast tissue, making it easier to detect any irregularities.

Early Detection Saves Lives

The mantra “early detection saves lives” rings especially true in the context of breast cancer. Research indicates that when breast cancer is detected early, before it has spread beyond the breast, the five-year survival rate is over 90%. This underscores the critical role of regular self-exams in identifying potential concerns at their earliest stages.

Spread Awareness

In addition to performing self-exams, spreading awareness is paramount. Encourage friends, family, and loved ones to prioritize their breast health through regular examinations and screenings. Education and open dialogue can empower individuals to take charge of their well-being.

Breast Cancer

Conducting a Self-Exam

Taking a few minutes for a self-exam could save a life. Here’s how to conduct a thorough self-examination.

Looking in the Mirror:

Look at your self in the mirror with either your hands behind your head or on your hips. See if there is any change in the size and shape of the breast especially the nipple.

There should not be any dimple on the skin and the nipple. Look for discoloration as well.

In the Shower:

Stand upright to detect masses in the upper breast. Use finger pads to feel every section of the breast and underarm, applying gentle pressure for accurate detection. Also apply pressure to the collarbone in a similar manner. Repeat steps for both sides.

Lie Down:

Later, lie down and examine yourself again. Use firm circular movements, first clockwise and then anticlockwise, from collarbone to underarm. Increase pressure gradually to feel deep tissue and lymph nodes.

Check Areola and Nipple:

Don’t forget to examine the areola and nipple for any changes, such as discharge or inversion. Sqyeeze the nipple to check for any discharge. If you are not a feeding mom then there shoul not be any discharge.

Professional Examination:

While self-exams are crucial, they should complement rather than replace professional medical examinations. Visit a doctor once every three years if you’re between ages 20 to 39 years, and annually if you’re over 40 years old.

Breast Cancer


By incorporating these simple steps into your routine, you can play an active role in safeguarding your breast health. Remember, early detection is key. Together, let’s raise awareness, encourage regular self-examinations, and prioritize breast health. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.


What is breast cancer awareness?

Breast cancer awareness involves educating individuals about the risks, symptoms, and importance of early detection through self-examination and regular screenings.

Why is self-examination important?

Self-examination enables individuals to familiarize themselves with their breasts’ normal appearance and detect any changes, allowing for early detection of potential abnormalities or signs of breast cancer.

CHow often should I perform a self-exam?

Experts recommend performing a breast self-exam once a month, ideally a few days after the end of menstruation, for premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women can choose a specific date each month.

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