Breast Cancer is a preventable disease if caught early enough. Doctors believe that early detection may save the lives of thousands of women and a simple breast self examination once a month should be a regular habit for all women. Getting to know your breasts and noticing what is normal or if there are any changes, plays an important role in health.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in South African women – but the good news is that when breast cancer is diagnosed early (localized stage) the 5-year survival rate is 98%. The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps detect the disease in its early stages. This plan should consist of three elements:
- Breast Self Exams (BSE) – which should be performed monthly from 20 years of age.
- Clinical Breast Exams (CBE) – Women in their 20s and 30s should have these as part of a periodic (regular) health examination and done by a health professional at least every 3 years. After the age of 40, women should have a breast examination performed by a health professional every year.
- Mammograms – Women aged 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
Sensa Touch, developed in the United States, is a product that every woman over the age of twenty five should keep on hand and which will encourage women to become familiar with their breasts. Sensa Touch is an inexpensive, efficient and simple method that assists in the early detection of breast abnormalities which could indicate a more serious condition. The Sensa Touch breast self examination glove is designed to increase sensitivity for breast examinations, by reducing friction against the skin and allowing fingers to glide smoothly across the breast area. It consists of two micro-thin layers of polyurethane with a non-toxic gel in between. When placed on the breast, the bottom layer gently adheres to the skin and remains stable, allowing the upper layer to slide freely underneath the fingertips. Friction is therefore greatly reduced and the result is an ability to feel even the smallest changes in breasts.