(www.BlackDoctor.org) -- Breast cancer, though not a big concern to teenagers, is a prospect that adult women need to be aware of. There are all sorts of studies linking breast cancer with heredity, diet, hormonal imbalances and lifestyle.
New treatments and medical breakthroughs hold some promise in eventually defeating this disease, but nothing beats early detection. That's why your first line of defense against breast cancer is monthly self-examination. You can start as soon as your breasts are fully developed.
Breast self-exams should be done at the same time of the month every month, right after your period ends, when the breasts are neither tender nor swollen.
1. Lie down on your back; put your right arm over your head and a pillow under your right shoulder.
2. With the three middle fingers of your left hand, feel for lumps or thickened tissue in your right breast, using a firm circular motion radiating out from the nipple. Press hard enough to familiarize yourself with how your breast feels, but not so hard that it hurts.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for your left breast.
4. Standing and looking in a mirror, check your breasts for any surface anomalies like puckering, dimpling or swelling. Do this with your arms at your sides, with them stretched above your head, and with your hands on your hips while flexing your chest muscles.