In the United States and the United Kingdom (and probably in other spots around the globe), October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it's totes important to know the right routine to take care of yourself all year round. How should you care for your girls, even if you're only in your 20s? Let's have a look.
Every month, just after your period ends, is the ideal time to do a routine breast exam. Do it in the shower, or before bed, or while you're watching Netflix -- just make sure you do it. There's a bit of an update you need to know, though: you're not necessarily looking for a lump. You're just getting familiar with what your boobs usually look and feel like.
Stand in front of a mirror, and have a look at yourself. Raise your arms over your head, turn to the side, pretend you're on the Victoria's Secret runway and look at your breasts from every angle. Do you see anything new or different?
If you've got unusual discharge from either or both nipples, this could be a sign that something's wrong. Also, if you've got a rash or flaky skin on or around your nipples, that's another hint that something might not be quite right.
Along with the rash on or near your nips, keep an eye out for swelling, soreness, inflammation, or redness anywhere on your breasts. If you're normally a little sore just before your period, make sure you're looking out for this after your period's over.
If you notice something unusual, make an appointment to see your primary care doctor. She'll want to see what's going on, and chances are, it's a minor issue. That rash or redness could be something as simple as a reaction to a new detergent, or it could be something more serious. Don't delay.
If your doc seems unconcerned, but you're still having symptoms or you're still worried, don't let them brush you off! It's rare, sure, but women in their late teens and early 20s can develop breast cancer too!
I'm going to stress this again: when it comes to breast cancer, the earlier you're diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it. So if you find something wrong, don't delay, not even a day! Time is of the essence, and if it turns out to be nothing, then that's a great day, not a waste of time.
Are there any other tips you can share during this Breast Cancer Awareness month? What other self-care routines do you follow?
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