October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to awareness and prevention. This year alone, there will be about ​​281,550 new cases of breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death among women. 

Breast health matters. Your breasts go through countless, sometimes unpredictable, changes while breastfeeding and pumping. Dealing with cracked nipples, clogged ducts, and tenderness is hard enough. While these reactions are normal for breastfeeding or pregnant moms, it is important to still consider breast cancer early signs and talk to your doctor about any concerns. 

Once a month, it is recommended that women perform breast self-examinations. Even when pregnant or breastfeeding, continue to feel for tender spots or lumps and compare to previous checks. If detected early in the localized stage, the American Cancer Society notes a 99% five-year survival rate.  

Breast Self-Exam
Here's How to Perform an Effective Breast Self-Exam:
  1. First, visually examine your breasts in the mirror with your hands on your hips. Pay attention to the usual shape and size, and note any discoloration or soreness.
  2. Next, repeat this visual examination with your hands raised in the air. Notice any unusual fluid coming from either nipple. 
  3. Now it’s time to feel your breasts for lumps, which is often easiest lying down or in the shower. Use your first few fingers to perform small circular motions. Repeat this motion until you have covered the entire breast on both sides. Use a variety of pressure levels depending on the sensitivity of different areas. 

Make sure to remember what you see or take notes as a baseline for future breast examinations. 40% of all breast cancer cases are detected from performing these exams, so it should be an essential part of your health routine. Here at Larken, we take breast cancer seriously, and also encourage regular mammograms and appointments with your doctor. Even though 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous, you can never be too cautious! This month and all year, we recognize all those who have been affected, and continue to promote breast health. 

After all, your breasts are at the center of what we do! Struggling to find a comfortable nursing bra to help you through your breastfeeding journey? Our nursing bras are breathable and comfortable, with no pesky underwire. 

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.