Importance of screening tests

Almost 8500 people are diagnosed every year in breast cancer in Hungary and every eighth-ninth woman is affected by the disease. It should also be noted that 10% of the new patients are under the age of 45, so they have not yet received any invitation for organized public health screening. The death of breast cancer are more than two thousand per year.

Breast cancer is not a preventable disease, there is no prevention tool in our hands. Of early diagnosis, however, yes we have, since survival can be significantly improved in case of early discovered breast cancer.

Many people do not know that anyone under the age of 40 may be ill, so any strange of weird thing is detected, it is recommended to go to ultrasound and / or mammography. From 18 to 20 years, it is worthwhile to attend annual gynecological screening (cytology, pelvic ultrasound, breast examination) and for the 45-65 year old, mammographic screening is recommended to participate. But even after the age of 65, the risk of breast cancer does not disappear, it is also important to pay attention. Unfortunately, only half of the targeted women who have been invited go to the screening test, while there is a greater chance of recovery in the case of an early recognized disease.

During the month of breast cancer, we encourage the affected population to participate regularly in screening tests and to carry out self-examination regularly, as the chance of survival can be significantly improved in the early stage. Pay attention to ourselves to spend a lot of time with our loved ones!

Breast self-examination

Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Raise your arms and look for the same changes.

While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky or yellow fluid or blood).

Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you’ve reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.

Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower.