Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. As many as 1 in 7 women will experience it at some point. If you are there in time, there is a lot to do. It is therefore good to regularly check your breasts yourself.
The rule of 3
How do you do that? Through ‘the rule of 3’. That’s easy to remember. Use at least 3 fingers to check 3 important places for 3 minutes:
- your entire chest
- your nipples
- under your armpits
Of Breast Cancer Association Netherlands (BVN) has started the campaign ‘the rule of 3’ to make women aware of this self-check. Every third of the month, BVN helps remind women to check their breasts according to the 3 rules.
There’s another handy reminder: if you look closely, the number 3 hides a pair of breasts – turn the 3 a quarter turn so that it ‘hangs’ like two beautiful breasts. And once you see it, you keep seeing it. Thus, the number 3 becomes a reminder to examine yourself regularly.
What should you pay attention to in self-examination?
When you do ‘the rule of 3’, what should you pay attention to?
- An unusual lump in your breast
- Does a breast feel painful or heavier?
- Has a rash, eczema, or crusting around the nipples appeared?
- Have there been any recent changes in the shape or size of your breast?
- The skin of the breast looks abnormal
- Inverted nipple
- Dents or dimples in the skin
- The nipples are about the same height
- The breast is warm to the touch and is red in colour
- Is there any swelling or hardness in the chest or armpit?
Not every month
Do you want to check your breasts with ‘the rule of 3’? It doesn’t have to be every month. See what is a nice, regularly recurring moment for you. If you are menstruating at that time, the advice is to wait a week.
If you would like to know more about breast self-examination, click here BVN’s website.
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