Basic Facts About Breast Health: Breast Self Exams

 All women should check their breasts for lumps, thicknesses and other changes every month. By examining your breasts regularly, you will know how your breasts normally feel. If a change should happen in your breasts, you will be able to identify it and let your doctor know.

  • Check your breasts about one week after your period. Checking your breasts in the shower can be a convenient way to get the self exam into your routine.
  • Press firmly with the pads of your fingers. Move your left hand over your right breast in a circle. Make sure to check all over and include the armpit.
  • Now check your left breast with your right hand in the same way.
  • You also should look at your breasts in a mirror. Look for any changes in how your breasts look.

If you find any lumps, thickenings or changes, tell your doctor right away. Most breast lumps are not cancer, but you don't know if you don't ask. Breast cancer may be successfully treated if you find it early.

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screening guidelines for men

Ages 18 to 39

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BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING

  • Have your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 and 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg or higher. Then have it checked every year.
  • If the top number is greater than 140, or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often, at least once a year.
  • Watch for blood pressure screenings in your neighborhood or workplace. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked.

CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION

  • Recommended starting ages for cholesterol screening are between 20 and 35 for men. Men with normal cholesterol levels do not need to have the test repeated for 5 years.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.

DIABETES SCREENING

  • If your blood pressure is 140/80mm Hg or higher, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
  • If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight. Asian Americans should be screened if their BMI is greater than 23.
  • If you have other risk factors for diabetes, such as a first degree relative with diabetes or history of heart disease, your provider will likely screen you for diabetes.

DENTAL EXAM

  • Go to the dentist once or twice every year for an exam and cleaning. Your dentist will evaluate if you have a need for more frequent visits.

EYE EXAM

  • If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years, or more often if recommended by your provider.
  • Have an eye exam at least every year if you have diabetes.

IMMUNIZATIONS

  • After age 19, you should have a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine once as part of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines if you did not receive it as an adolescent. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • You should get a flu shot each year.
  • Talk with your provider about getting the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine series if you have not already had it.
  • You should receive two doses of varicella vaccine if you never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.
  • Your provider may recommend other immunizations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING

  • Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may need to be screened for infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV, as well as other infections.

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Your blood pressure should be checked at least every 1 to 2 years.
  • Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

During your exam, your provider may ask you about:

  • Depression
  • Diet and exercise
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Safety, such as use of seat belts and smoke detectors

TESTICULAR EXAM

  • The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends against performing testicular self-exam. Doing testicular exams has been shown to have little to no benefit.

Ages 40 to 64

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BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING

  • Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 to 139 mm Hg or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 to 89 mm Hg, then continue to have it checked every year.
  • If the top number is greater than 140 or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
  • Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked.

 CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION

  • Your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years.
  • If you have a high cholesterol level, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.
  • Some men should consider taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks. Ask your provider before you start aspirin because aspirin may increase your risk for bleeding.

DIABETES SCREENING

  • If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every 3 years.
  • If you are overweight, ask your provider if you should be screened at a younger age. Asian Americans should be screened if their BMI is greater than 23.
  • If your blood pressure is above 140/80 mm Hg, or you have other risk factors for diabetes, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.

COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING

If you are under age 50, talk to your health care provider about getting screened. You should be screened if you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps. Screening may also be considered if you have risk factors such as a history of inflammatory bowel disease or polyps.

If you are between ages 50 to 75, you should be screened for colorectal cancer. There are several screening tests available:

You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer
  • A history of growths called adenomatous polyps

DENTAL EXAM

  • Go to the dentist once or twice every year for an exam and cleaning. Your dentist will evaluate if you have a need for more frequent visits.

EYE EXAM

Have an eye exam every 2 to 4 years ages 40 to 54 and every 1 to 3 years ages 55 to 64. Your provider may recommend more frequent eye exams if you have vision problems or glaucoma risk.

Have an eye exam at least every year if you have diabetes.

IMMUNIZATIONS

  • You should get a flu shot every year.
  • Your provider may recommend other vaccinations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.
  • You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccination every 10 years. If you have not received a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines, you should have it once.
  • You may get a shingles or herpes zoster vaccination once after age 50.

OSTEOPOROSIS SCREENING

  • If you are between ages 50 to 70 and have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should discuss screening with your provider.
  • Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use, having a fracture after age 50, or a family history of osteoporosis.

4 Ways to Use Haters As Fuel for Success

1. Understand that it means you are doing things right.

 The emergence of haters is a signal that you have achieved a certain level of success. If you have not accomplished anything, then, almost certainly, nobody would be paying enough attention to give you criticism. 

3. Utilize them to become more independent thinking.

 You might receive deeply personal insults that attack your beliefs or character. That said, you do not have to conform to anybody else's beliefs. Instead, you should be proud of what makes you unique. 

4. Learn from their attitudes to be more accepting of others.

 Seeing the ways in which people negatively treat you can teach you how to be more accepting of others. Instead of mimicking your haters' actions toward other people, do the opposite. You will develop an empathy for what it is like to receive flack.