Medical director at Roche Kgothatso Motumi tells us all about #Every30Days, a new campaign that promotes breast self-examinations. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
#Every30Days aims to remind women to do regular breast examinations. These examinations shouldn’t just be done once a year or only during Breast Cancer Awareness month. You should do them every 30 days because your breasts feel different at different times of the month. When you have your period at the beginning of your cycle, your breasts might feel tender, swollen and uncomfortable. This is normal. Throughout the month, you’ll also feel lump-like lobules in your breasts, which is normal, too. You need to get used to what is normal for you. It is also normal for your breasts and armpits to feel the same month after month. But, if you detect a lump that wasn’t there before, seek professional medical advice.
A breast self-exam is quick and easy. Firstly, stand in front of a mirror and look carefully for changes on your armpits and breasts. Look out for changes in the shape and size, and check for skin dimpling, inverted nipples, eczema-like nipple rash and any discharge. Then feel your breasts for any abnormalities. Lift your arm on the side you’ll be checking. With the opposite hand, move your fingers around your breast, from your armpit to the bottom of your breast and round again. Check for lumps and thickenings, and then repeat this process on the other breast. Lastly, lie down on a flat surface and repeat the above process. Just by doing this, women detect breast cancer as soon as the first symptoms appear. Our website roche.co.za provides step-by-step instructions that will guide you as you perform the exam.
This test can make a big difference in the fight against breast cancer. In South Africa, 1 in 27 women develops breast cancer in their lifetime. With this campaign, we hope to get more women into the habit of checking their breasts monthly so that more cases can be detected early, and for patients to get treated sooner.