Self breast examination advised to avoid cancer


This infographic explains the most common warning signs for breast cancer. Symptoms may serve as the early stages of stage 1 cancer developing. 

Devin Wilmott

The result of cell-growth malfunction in the breasts, or breast cancer, caused 1.7 million new cases worldwide in 2012 alone. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the malignant tumor can either grow slowly or aggressively, resulting in a lump able to be sensed by simply touching the breast infected. However, some tumors can grow over a span of 10 years without the patient even knowing.  Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

The American Cancer Society unveiled about 12 percent of women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their life. Along with the 1 in 8 women in the US projected to become infected, the ACS estimates that about 232,670 women either will or have already become infected in 2014 and 40,000 women will die by the end of this year. However, there are currently more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the US today.

It is evident that there is not yet a cure for cancer, but its spread can be contained and reversed through treatment. The best way to maintain healthy breasts is being aware of the disease and checking for signs throughout the year.

“Everybody has got a human body and [at some point] something is going to go wrong either with your body or the body of somebody that you love and if you know basic human anatomy, you can really understand a lot more about what is going on with you or your loved one and how to deal with whatever that may be,” said Dr. Barbara Krumhardt, senior lecturer in genetics, development and cell biology.

Knowing how your breasts look and feel is the best way to prevent any type of serious growth. Noticing a change in feeling or shape should not be taken lightly and it is important to be aware of changes and taking care of issues prior to their arrival. Before seeking consultation from a physician women have the option of performing self-exams. Self exams consist of evaluating the breasts using a mirror and moving the fingers in circular motion, searching for any abnormalities.

“It is not that uncommon for breast cancer to occur but if you catch it really early, the treatments are not anywhere near as traumatic than if you were to let it go,” Krumhardt said. “Someone who feels a lump in there breast and is afraid to go get it checked out, it may only cause it to worsen from not double checking with a physician.”

Breast cancer does not have an age limit and any women has the potential to become infected. Noticing cancer in its earlier stages is the first step to fighting this disease. According to ACS, women diagnosed with the 3 stages of cancer have a survival rate of 72-100 percent with proper treatment. Therefore, individuals should seek help from a physician and take necessary precautions if abnormalities arise.

For more on breast cancer and its symptoms, visit