Breast Exam Bootcamp: Making Self-Checks Slightly Less Awkward (and a Tiny Bit Fun)

By Craft Beer Girls



Time to read 3 min

Hey there, Beautiful Humans! October is here, and while most people are thinking about pumpkin spice lattes and spooky Halloween costumes, we're here to add a dash of pink to the autumn palette. Welcome to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where we combine a splash of humor with a dollop of seriousness to navigate a topic that touches many, but can often feel daunting.

Early Detection: Why It's the Real MVP

  1. Survival Odds Go Sky-High: Find it early, and your chances of sending breast cancer packing are like the odds of your cat knocking that glass off the counter - very, very high! Early detection can see 5-year survival rates leap over the 90% mark.
  2. Opt for the "Lite" Version: Detect it in the nick of time, and you might just trade the heavy-duty treatments for their "lite" versions. Think fewer side effects and more time for Netflix.
  3. Sleep Like a Baby: Well, like a baby who doesn't wake up every two hours. Regular checks mean you’re ahead of the game, giving you peace of mind and sweeter dreams.

Early Checks: Not Just for the Early Birds

While age is a factor (sorry, you can't escape those gray hairs), some situations might ring the "check your breasts" alarm a tad sooner:

  • It Runs in the Family: If Aunt Susan, Cousin Amy, or your sis had it, it's time to be vigilant. The earlier, the better!
  • Genes Playing Tricks: Heard of BRCA1 and BRCA2? No, they're not droids from Star Wars but gene mutations that can up the ante. Keep an eye out if they're in your genetic deck of cards. Read more about the genetic mutations here
  • Zapped in the Past: Past radiation treatments to the chest area? Your breasts might just need a little more TLC.
  • Been There, Done That: Previous run-ins with breast health issues? Stay on the ball with regular checks.

For those nodding along, start those self-exams in your 20s and chat with your doc about a tailored game plan.

DIY Breast Check: Like a Pro (But in Your PJs)

Infographic of an at-home breast check

Step 1: Timing is Your BFF

If you're part of the menstrual merriment club, it's best to play detective with your breasts a few days post-period. They're generally in a better mood then—less puffy and irritable, meaning anything unusual is easier to spot.

Step 2: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Time for a topless pep talk. In a well-lit room:

  • Strike your superhero pose: hands on hips!
  • Play the spot-the-difference game: Look for changes in size, shape, or position.
  • Note any skin performances—no one asked for dimpling or an impromptu rash!
  • Give your nipples the attention they often demand. Look for surprise cameos of discharge or any diva-like behavior (like inversion).

Step 3: Let's Get Physical (Literally)

  • Bedtop Bonanza:
    • Think of it as a lounging pose. Pop a pillow under your right shoulder, and let your right hand take a mini nap behind your head.
    • With your left hand doing its best detective impression, take it on a circular tour of your breast—no ticket required!
    • Explore from collarbone estates to upper abdomen alley and from armpit avenue to cleavage crescent.
    • Switch sides and let your right hand have its turn in the spotlight.
  • Shower Showdown:
    • Raise that right arm like you're answering all life’s questions correctly.
    • Channel your inner bathroom singer and take your sudsy left hand on a boob-tour. Remember, thoroughness is the name of the game!
    • And then... encore! Switch to the other breast and repeat. 

Step 4: What’s That Now?

Keep an alert (but not alarmed!) feel out for:

  • Unique lumps or thickened spots. Not all treasure is gold, right?
  • Mind you, some of us are naturally a bit "lumpy-bumpy," so it's all about knowing your normal.

Step 5: Diary of a Boob Detective

Keep a log—whether it's old-school paper or digital magic—of your self-exams. Jot down dates, moon phases (or not), and anything that feels off.

If your detective senses tingle with any unusual changes, don't dilly-dally. Ring up your doctor for the next chapter in your detective saga. Remember, it's all in the name of self-care, spiced with a pinch of humor! 🎀🕵️‍♀️

Mammograms: The Ultimate "Peek-a-Boob"

While it might feel like an awkward hug from a robot, mammograms are like a crystal ball for your boobs. Typically a thing for the fabulous over-40 club, if you’ve got added risks, consider getting a head start. Here is more information about mammogram screenings.

Wrapping Up with a Bow (or a Bra?)

October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us to take a moment from pumpkin carving and ghost hunting to prioritize our "lady lumps" or "man mounds". With a sprinkle of humor, a touch of awareness, and a dash of action, we're not just being proactive – we're rocking the boat and making waves. Remember, it's always better to check yourself, lest you... well, you know the rest! 😉🎀