This month was all about breast cancer and precautions. The Swiss National Statistical Office* announces that breast cancer currently is still the most common cancer type around. On average about 5 to 10% of the patients have a genetical predisposition, for others the combination of lifestyle and other aspects play a leading roll.
This blog is meant to raise awareness for this illness and to strengthen the consciousness for precautions. This week, we launched a survey on Facebook to find out how well informed women actually are about prevention and where they were instructed for this.
Breast cancer awareness survey:
- 70% of the participants think that palpating the breasts only has to be done after age 40.
- 100% of the participants confirmed that they had never received a professional instruction on how and when to palpate their breasts.
- However, 100% wish to receive information and demonstrations such as videos, pictures or flyers from their gynecologists regarding this matter.
Why is palpation so important?
The checking of breasts cannot prevent cancer. It’s about early detection of potentially malign cancerous tumours and protecting the patient from a lethal advanced disease. With this precaution one can reduce the death rate of breast cancer patients.
As a teenager, it is difficult to recognize abnormalities because the tissue of the breasts is constantly changing. From age twenty onwards, it is recommended and reasonable to palpate the breasts on a regular base.
Get to know your body!
Something that sounds so simple, but is actually not so easy in reality. Consciously feeling changes in your body is a skill that takes some training. The more you get to know your body, the higher the chances you are able to detect abnormalities early.
An easy way to strengthen this skill is to include it in your daily routine. This can happen whilst applying your shower gel or creaming your body with lotion. The more you touch, the more your fingers learn to detect changes. The palpation of the breasts should be done at least once a month.
During our research, we found a helpful app called “Breast Self-Check”. It has been designed by three Swiss Doctors and explains when to palpate and even offers a timer for the next “appointment”. There are videos available that explain the right palpation technique and the different tissue structures. All in all we found it to be a good app. The videos are available in German, however the menu and description is in English.