Spotlight on Women’s Health with Dr. Neffinger: Breast Self-Exams
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
By Dr. Elisheva Neffinger
Spotlight on Women’s Health
with Dr. Neffinger
In this ongoing series, Dr. Elisheva Neffinger will highlight women’s health, addressing issues, sharing naturopathic insights, and reflecting on ways to promote overall wellness.
Self Care with a Breast Self-Exam
A simple, monthly breast self-exam can help you learn about your body, monitor yourself for any suspicious breast changes, and practice a healthy self-care habit.
Practicing the Habit: When to Do a Breast Self-Exam
If menstruating, examine your breasts at the end of your period each month. If you are no longer menstruating, choose the same day of every month to do a breast self-exam.
How to Do a Breast Self-Exam
1. Start by looking in the mirror: search for any new changes, puckering, nipple inversion or discharge, skin discoloration, redness, rashes, or swelling. Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal for breasts to be two different sizes.
2. Use your fingers to examine your breasts. While lying down allows you to best feel the breast tissue, the shower is also a good place to remember to do your self-exam.
3. Starting at the armpit, use the pads of your fingers to examine one small area of the breast at a time. At each area use light, medium, and firm pressure to feel all the breast tissue. When you have finished an area, slide over to the next area.
4. Move in an up and down pattern until you have covered the entire breast. Abnormal masses in the breast can range in size and feel. They may be small and hard, large and soft, or painful or painless. If something does not feel right or feels different to you, contact your doctor.
What To Do If You Have Concerns
If you feel something unusual, don’t stress! Various factors can influence breast changes. Make an appointment with your doctor to address any concerns.
Self Care with Annual Appointments
A breast self-exam does not replace yearly breast exams and breast imaging by a physician. It is recommended that most women have a mammogram every year starting at age 40. If you have higher risk factors, including close relatives who have had breast cancer, you may need to start earlier. Consult your physician for further instruction.
Bloom Natural Health offers a suite of
women’s healthcare services. Contact Bloom Natural Health today for a consultation.
Dr. Elisheva Neffinger specializes in women’s health, nutrition, weight management, acne, dermatology, and tick-borne illnesses. She graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport, where she earned her doctorate in naturopathic medicine.
Bloom on Zoom: For Sustained Health, It’s Time to Hack Your Habits
As the leaves turn and the weather cools, it’s a great time to reflect on change. Are there changes you’d like to make to better your health? Unhealthy habits that you’d like to break? Or good habits that you’d like to integrate?
Join us for “For Sustained Health, It’s Time to Hack Your Habits,” the next installment of Bloom on Zoom, on Thursday, October 28th from 12pm-1pm EST. Dr. Christine Louden will guide you through some practical approaches to making lasting habit change, offering techniques that have successfully transformed the health of Bloom Natural Health patients. Please come ready to participate and bring your habit-change challenge!