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Tips on conducting a self-exam for breast cancer at home

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it's important to know how to conduct a self-exam. Here are some tips!

HUNTSVILLE, Ala — It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and although it seems like we have all eyes on coronavirus right now, there are still some major health risks we need to keep watch for. 

WATCH: Doctors encourage mammograms after decline during pandemic

Conducting self-exams is a great way to catch potential cases of breast cancer. While a mammogram can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, about 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancer cases are found by people who feel a lump and then seek medical attention. 

It’s recommended to do a self breast exam about once a month, and you can work it into your routine.

We spoke with Dr. Libby Shadinger, the Medical Director, Huntsville Madison Hospital Breast Center. Dr. Shadinger says, “The shower is a pretty easy and convenient place to do that. We do recommend using a mirror. Just to check in the mirror and make sure you don’t see a sudden asymmetry or nipple inversion or something like that that hasn’t been there before…. The earlier we find these things, the better we are.” 

Dr. Shadinger says, when doing your self-exam, try to start at the nipple and be sure to feel up into the armpit. There’s breast tissue there as well.

For more tips on self-exams, click the links below: 

Click here for tips on self breast exams from the National Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Click here for information on feeling for lumps from BreastCancer.Org.

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