The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives in a myriad of ways. As a result of the pandemic, many women are delaying cancer screening, whether it is because their appointment was canceled or because they do not want to risk a trip to the doctor. Even if you make the choice to delay routine screenings, you can still practice early detection.
We have all heard that early detection is essential and that’s especially true for breast cancer. Breast cancer caught in its earliest stage has a five-year survival rate of 99%. That survival rate drops drastically to 24% in the latest stage of breast cancer. If your mammogram is delayed, you can and should be performing your monthly breast self-exam (BSE).
When you perform a breast self-exam for the first time, don’t be surprised if you notice your breasts feel lumpy. This The normal “lumpy” texture of breast tissue that is made up of a combination of glandular, adipose, and fibrous structures., or consistent lumpiness, is completely normal; sometimes it is compared to the texture of lumpy oatmeal. With that said, the sooner you begin to consistently perform your BSE, the sooner you will be able to identify suspicious lumps in your chest. Abnormal lumps tend to have a definitive size, shape, and texture. These should stand out against consistently lumpy breast texture. If you happen to feel an abnormal lump, don’t be alarmed. Eighty percent of lumps that are found in the chest tissue are harmless. However, you should speak to your doctor about any suspicious lumps or visual changes you notice.
Remember, even in challenging times, you have a method of early detection right at your fingertips.