How to Screen for Breast Cancer

download_nbcam_pink_ribbonIt’s an issue that most people want to sweep under the rug, like if you don’t talk about it, it won’t happen to you. But if you’re like me, you have a sister, mother, or friend who has had to fight this disease. Not only is October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month but this year marks 25 years of NBCAM.We want to do our part to promote early detection for this cancer that strikes at the core of our community of women.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has published Breast Self-Awareness Cards in a number of languages that are free to download here. Interestingly, they address the breast self-exam as only one part of early detection, because evident on whether or not it is actually beneficial is not certain. They recommend the self-exam as just part your breast self-awareness, along with the following:

1. Know your risk

  • Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
  • Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer

2. Get screened

  • Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40

3. Know what is normal for you and see your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month… this is another occasion for us to connect and be part of the cure. If you’ll remember from Zen Mommy’s Week 12 Baby Watch, The Shower Hug is her new best friend. Well, you can buy a PINK RIBBON through their website and the full amount will be donated to the Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, Virginia in support of Tara Paulitz, a mommy who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2006. Although she was cancer-free for 2 years, it returned in May 2009.

Have you been diagnosed and undergone breast cancer treatment? Do you know someone who has? Do you have advice for women who are facing this issue right now?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.


  1. Thanks for mentioning our fund raiser and Tara’s cause. We can all be a part of the cure, no matter how we choose to use our resources or talants to give. We would love to help her surpass her $30,000 contribution for research. This is a great, helpful and informative page. I will Tweet about it.

  2. Breast cancer is by turns frightening, overwhelming, and exhausting—but these few deceptively simple tips can help women cope with the emotional and physical challenges they face.

  3. Thanks for the great post on how to screen for breast cancer. More women need to do regular checkups. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of your site in the future.

  4. I have seen just how devastating this disease can be. Any and all awareness or prevention measures that can be done, should be. A quality post for all women to read and act on.