Thursday 28 October 2021

Why Mindset is Important for Success: How to Develop a Success Mindset


How to develop a success mindset

Why is it some people seem to succeed at everything they do? It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal or professional goal. They always seem to find a way around obstacles so they can create the life or career they’ve been dreaming of.

Perhaps you’ve always thought that success hinged on an external circumstance like a high IQ, wealth, a good upbringing, or a supportive partner. But if you study successful people, you’ll quickly discover no one has a perfect life. In fact, many who are praised for their success are quite ordinary.

If you keep examining successful people, you’ll notice there’s only one thing truly different about them: their mindset. Mindset is what makes the difference. It sets those who are successful apart from those who are not.

Is Your Mindset Defeating You? 

Sharon wanted to be an entrepreneur. She spent years bouncing from one business idea to the next. Each started the same way: she’d feel excited about pursuing the new business. She’d get the supplies or tools needed. Then she’d begin a marketing campaign. 

By the six-month mark, Sharon would shut it down. She would say the market wasn’t ready for her idea or that her ideal customers weren’t willing to pay enough to make a profit. 

She maxed out her credit cards trying to fund these ventures and was barely making enough to cover the rent. So, she’d get a job for a few months until she found her next big idea.

Sharon didn’t realize her problem was her mindset. Her business coach had to point that fact out to her. Even though Sharon craved success, she feared it. So, every time she got close to a breakthrough in a new business, she would sabotage herself.

Sound familiar? 

James was the opposite of Sharon. He was an employee at a well-known tech firm. He was reliable and always treated his clients well. James knew his boss frequently received positive feedback about his work.

But despite coming up for promotion twice, James couldn’t seem to advance in the company. He was frustrated and overwhelmed, wondering what to do next. He knew something must be wrong with his approach but he wasn’t sure where to start. 

A mentor suggested the problem might be with James’s mindset. James was afraid to stand up for himself and rarely asked for what he wanted. Instead, he let his boss take the credit for all his hard work.

Do you stand up for yourself?

Sarah was a lawyer who hated her job. She’d always dreamed of being a writer and traveling the world. But she’d followed her mother’s advice who insisted she have a stable career in a good profession.

She was just a few weeks away from making partner in the firm when she started having regular panic attacks about it. She was miserable, but afraid to turn down the offer for fear she’d end up in poverty if she went after her dream.

A friend Sarah trusted pointed out the flaw with her mindset. Sarah believed that being a writer would mean years of financial hardship and struggle. She feared throwing her life away all for a “silly dream.”

Are you letting fear hold you back?

Sharon, James, and Sarah are all smart and well-educated. But each one is being held hostage by a negative mindset. This mindset keeps them from living their dreams and creating the life they want.

You may relate to these struggles. Perhaps your dream is slightly different—maybe you want to be a six-figure blogger or start your own tech company. The good news is that you can achieve these dreams and so much more, but only if you’re willing to work on your mindset.

Read: How To Free Yourself From Anxiety

Why You Can Choose Your Mindset

Most people assume their mindset is set in stone. They use expressions like:

I’ve always been this way.

Success doesn’t come easy for me.

A leopard can’t change its spots.

Good things just don’t happen to me.

It’s easy to believe that when you become an adult, you cease to grow. You might think that your abilities, skills, and habits are now permanent. 

Some people call this mindset a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset can lead you to adjust your expectations for your life based on what you think is possible for you. For example, you might say, “Well, I was never good at understanding business, so I can’t pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur.” 

What most people don’t know is that there’s a second mindset you can choose to embrace. This mindset is called a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, you recognize that though you may lack certain skills and abilities, they can be developed. You might say, “It’s true that I struggled to understand that business course I took in high school. But if I keep working at it, I can develop the skills I need to build a successful business.” 

The important thing to understand about a growth mindset is it fosters resilience or an ability to try again even after disappointing setbacks and crushing failure. For example, your goal is to start your own catering company. You need capital to buy equipment and employ staff.

You go to the bank and apply for a loan. The loan officer takes one look at your business plan and smirks. He tells you that your business plan is too poorly written and jumbled to even make sense of.

If you have a fixed mindset, you might leave the bank thinking that you can’t succeed now. You may say things like, “The loan manager was right. I can’t even write a business plan. How am I ever going to build a successful catering company?”

But if you choose a growth mindset, you look at this setback as an opportunity to grow. You say to yourself, “Well, maybe my business plan does need some work. I’ll go to the library and check out a book on how to write a business plan. I know if I study this topic, I can write a better plan.” 

With the growth mindset, you can bounce easier. You don’t think of your skills as stuck in one place, rather you view them as something you’re continually evolving and honing. This outlook can help you overcome obstacles that you’ll encounter on the path toward success. 

How to Embrace a Growth Mindset

Once you make the decision to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, it can be hard to know what to do next. You might look up articles or books online only to find vague concepts that are difficult to put into practice. Here are a few concrete actions you can take right now…

Look at Something New as an Experiment

Part of developing a growth mindset is trying new things. It’s easy to think we must do everything perfectly the first time we try it, but that's far from the truth. For example, you want to become a motivational speaker on topics like business and leadership. 

You start attending Toastmasters meetings to develop your speaking skills. When it’s your first time speaking, you put a lot of pressure on yourself to get it just right.

Instead of focusing on being perfect, look at your first speech as an experiment. Say something kind to yourself like, “I’m just experimenting with speaking. I’ll use this speech to learn more about what my audience finds interesting.” 

Challenge Yourself to Do It

When Jake realized his fear of rejection was holding him back, he changed up his mindset. He did this by challenging himself to ask for outrageous requests that would typically be met with rejection. He did this for 100 days and called it his Rejection Therapy.

If you’ve been eager to try something new but fear has held you back, challenge yourself to do one thing for 100 days. For example, if your goal is to write a book, you could set a goal to write 1 page every day for 100 days.

Change “Never” to “Not Yet”

Carol Dweck spoke in a popular TED talk about The Power of Not Yet. At a high school in Chicago, teenagers that weren’t passing a class received a grade of “NY,” meaning “not yet.” The goal of this program was to encourage students to embrace a growth mindset.

When you encounter a situation that’s beyond your skills or abilities, it’s easy to retreat to a fixed mindset. You might say, “I’ll never learn how to use Excel spreadsheets. I should give up.”

But you can shift your thinking to focus on a growth mindset. You can do this by saying, “I don’t know how to use Excel spreadsheets yet.” When you approach a problem this way, you put the focus back on your growth, rather than your skills or abilities.

Acknowledge Your Discomfort

Sometimes, it feels scary to do something new or different. It can be tempting to downplay it or even retreat to safety. But if you have a growth mindset, you can acknowledge your discomfort and remind yourself that you can do it. 

For example: it’s time to have a difficult discussion about raising your rates with your best client. Instead of leading from fear, try saying, “I know this discussion will make me feel uncomfortable. But I can negotiate with my client calmly and professionally.”

Your Mindset Affects Your Career

Your mindset affects every area of your life - your relationships, your spirituality, your emotions, and even your career. If you’ve never considered it, here are a few key ways that your mindset can shape your career…

Mindset impacts your professional reputation

Vince was a fitness instructor at a small fitness center. He often had a sour outlook and complained about the clients he was working with. When other employees had to work with him, they dreaded it.

His co-worker, Laura was also a fitness instructor. But unlike Vince, she had a positive attitude. She was quick to help her co-workers and always went the extra mile for her clients. When the fitness studio folded, Laura quickly found a new job thanks to the positive connections she’d made previously.

Mindset makes your work harder…or easier

David worked at an office supply store. He helped every customer he could and never complained about the tasks his manager asked him to do. 

When Harry started working at the same store, he had a negative mindset. He didn’t want to help customers and he avoided doing any extra work. Fortunately, David took Harry under his wing. He helped the younger man see that work could be difficult or easy depending on his outlook.

Mindset shapes your growth. 

Whether you work at a small firm, a Fortune 500 company, or just for yourself, you probably want to advance. Maybe you want a promotion or to expand the business you’ve started.

Regardless of your goal, growth is almost always required to reach it. That might mean learning new skills, networking with more people, or discovering more about your personality. 

When you have a positive mindset, it’s easier to develop skills you need. This could partially be because someone with a growth mindset is more willing to work through the initial discomfort of learning something new. They understand that new things can be challenging and they give themselves grace, rather than expecting perfection the first time around.

Mindset colors how you view problems

Some people see problems and never look beyond them. But a smart people recognize the problems and actively search for solutions, even if it isn't their job to find a solution. 

Sometimes, the solution might be simply refunding a client's money or listening to their complaint. Other times, the solution might be more complex like changing the way the company manufactures the product.

How to Keep the Momentum of a New Mindset

You may be working hard to develop a growth mindset and let go of your previous mindset. But some days, it’s a struggle. You may be wondering how to keep the momentum of your new mindset so you don’t slip back into old patterns. Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

Take Tiny Steps

It’s easy to lose momentum if you focus on making huge strides toward your goals. For example, if your goal is to become a graphic designer, you might put pressure on yourself to learn Photoshop in a week. 

Instead, you should break this big goal into smaller steps. Maybe today, you’ll work with the text feature and tomorrow you’ll experiment with layers. Remember, tiny steps are just as important as the big ones.

Celebrate Progress

Every victory deserves celebration. If you never acknowledge your progress, you can become fooled into thinking you haven’t made any. When you reward yourself, it’s easier to remember your progress.

Your reward for making progress doesn’t have to be huge. It can be something simple like a serving of ice cream for dessert, a walk in the park, or binge-watching your favorite series on Netflix.

Track Your Growth

It can also be helpful to keep a list of everything you’ve accomplished toward your goal. For example, if your goal is to launch your own company, then a few accomplishments on your list might be things like filing the paperwork to register your company, registering your domain name, and setting up social media accounts. 

These actions might feel tiny but when you write them out, you can see how they connect and see how they’re like links in a chain. When you’re discouraged, you can look at your list to remind yourself to keep going.

Post Your “Why”

As you work on your new mindset, it can be helpful to create a reminder about why you began this journey. Maybe you started it to show yourself that it could be done. Perhaps you wanted to encourage your kids to dream big. Maybe you just wanted to prove everyone wrong.

Whatever you reason, create an image that captures your “why” and post it where you can see it. For example, Sam’s friend told him he was too dumb to succeed in business. So, he created a collage of an awards ceremony. 

In the collage, he’s receiving a prestigious award for his company and his friend is in the audience, looking on with envy. This image motivates Sam to stick to his new mindset and keep working on his dream.

Be Kind to Yourself

On the road to improving your mindset, you’re going to mess up. Maybe you encountered an obstacle and immediately found yourself consumed with negative thoughts and vibes. Perhaps you learned that you skipped a vital step when creating your website and you’ll now have to create it all over again. 

It might be tempting to blame yourself or focus on the negative when you encounter these situations. But try to flip them by looking for the positive. For example, Sharon accidentally deleted her WordPress database and lost her entire website. After a few days, she found this positive: she’d never again work on her site without taking the time to make a backup copy first. Yes, it was a hard lesson to learn but she now knows it won't ever happen again. 

The trick to keeping momentum is to refuse to stop. Get up every day and be awesome. Even if you can only devote a few minutes to improving your mindset, keep working on it and leaning into what you really want. 

Change How You View Setbacks and Failures

When you develop a growth mindset, you don’t look at setbacks and failures the same way you did before. In the past when you had a fixed mindset, you may have viewed these failures as proof that you weren’t good enough or that you were unworthy of the success you craved. 

But people with a growth mindset, see failure and setbacks as opportunities to learn. Instead of shunning failure, they work hard to analyze it and figure out what happened and how they can grow from the experience. The next time, you encounter one of these events, try asking these questions:

What Surprised You?

Jade was a six-figure blogger in the knitting niche. She had a strong following so he was surprised when he launched an eBook and only had a few hundred sales. 

Curious, she began to dig into reviews and discovered that her audience expected a lot of instructional photos, not just images of the finished project. So, Jade took this information and relaunched the book with more images. This resulted in a flood of new sales.

What Patterns Can You Spot?

You can learn a lot from failures. For example, Ben was an engineer at a well-known tech company. When he was asked to give a presentation to his boss and some senior executives, he got nervous and bungled the whole thing.

When Ben thought back on the experience, he could pinpoint other times in his life when he’d failed at an important speech or presentation. He knew this stemmed from his fear of public speaking, so he began attending Toastmasters’ meetings. By doing this, he gradually became more comfortable on stage.

What Can You Learn from This?

Made started an online fashion magazine. She couldn’t get any traction with it, despite using several popular marketing methods. Frustrated, she reached out to a business coach for advice.

The coach gently explained that Made’s website was too ambiguous and vague. “I can’t tell who your audience is. You need to be intentional with your branding. The moment someone clicks on your site, they should be able to tell if they’re your intended audience or not.”

Made took the advice to heart and re-branded her site. She geared the magazine toward women in their thirties who were busy professionals. After that, she noticed a steady increase in the number of subscribers and followers that she had.

How Can I Handle This in a Positive Way?

Dana’s dream was to write and produce her own movies. Days before she was supposed to start shooting her second film, she got a call. Her funding had fallen through at the last minute. This left her scrambling to find new investors.

But Dana decided to focus on the positive in the situation. “I looked at it as I now had the opportunity to network more. I would walk into an event and think to myself maybe my next investor is here.”

Not only did Dana find a new investor, that investor also went on to become her business partner. What seemed like the worst obstacle was a beautiful growth opportunity.

Full Immersion Is the Best Way to Study Mindset

Evan was a first year student in college when he took a semester abroad as an exchange student. His mother had gone through the same program when she was in college. She insisted that no one in the host family speak in English with her son.

After the semester was over, Evan met up with several other college students who had studied abroad. To his amazement, none of them could fluidly speak in the language of the country they’d visited.

It was then Evan realized his mother’s insistence on “full immersion” was a valuable gift. Like Evan, you’ll understand the benefits of a success mindset only if you fully immerse yourself in it. Try doing some of these things…

Read Books about Mindset

The content you read can shape your life for years to come. Choose reading material that challenges you to examine your mindset and overcome obstacles. A few good books that you may want to begin with include:

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

Talk about Mindset

Find others who are interested in developing a growth-mindset and talk with them. Join a mastermind group led by a teacher who’s knowledgeable about mindset. 

Look for groups on Facebook where members are making bold changes to their personal or professional lives. Bring up the topic to your family or friends. Discuss what a growth-mindset looks like and how it can impact them.

Clean Out Your Social Media

Make sure you have positive content around on social media. It can be tough when you’re trying to embrace a success mindset and those around you aren’t supportive. Don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow people that are constantly negative. Don’t let them steal your positive energy or make you feel poorly about yourself.

Fill Your Feed with Positive Topics

If you must remove some people from your social media feeds, replace their negativity with positive content. You can do this by following hashtags like #mindset, #success, #growth, #learning. Like Evan, you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in this language.

Share Your Own Journey

As you begin to embrace a success mindset, you’ll find that your life and business start to change. Don’t be afraid to share this journey with others. Go ahead, post pictures about your new client or that amazing coach that you just hired. Let those who are following you know that you’re experiencing a mindset shift. 

Remember, a success mindset can be yours if you rise and claim it. You control your thoughts and if they get off-track, you can choose to flip the switch and focus on the positive. 

Read : How To Improve Your Life Daily: 6 Daily Habits For A Positive Life

Thursday 21 October 2021

What is Anxiety: Meaning and Symptoms

What is anxiety? meaning and symptoms

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body's normal reaction to stress. It can be a feeling of worry, fear, or unease.

Do you feel anxious before a dental visit or starting something new? Have you gotten the jitters before speaking in front of a large group? Do you sometimes get sweaty palms when thinking about the future?

These are common reactions when faced with something that's scary or unfamiliar and it doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong.

However, some people suffer from a more severe form of anxiety that causes more serious physical symptoms which can interfere with their daily activities. The feelings of fear and unease are often intense, repeated, and out of proportion to the actual danger. These are called anxiety disorders.

To better understand if your anxious feelings could be a sign of anxiety or panic disorder, let's take a look at some of the symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?

1. If you feel your heart is racing and you can't breathe properly, this can be a symptom of anxiety that is severe enough to get professional help.

2. Some people have uncontrollable fears of things like crowded places, driving, or germs that make them completely avoid some places or situations.

3. The consistent inability to concentrate can be a symptom of anxiety. This must be consistent behavior, and not just on those occasions when you lack sleep or are hungry for instance.

4. Nervous behaviors, such as walking around the same area over and over again or twitching your fingers and toes repetitively can be a symptom.

5. A feeling of doom or that something bad will happen to you, such as an accident, heart attack, or even death, can be symptoms of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

6. Numbness in your hands, fingers, toes, and legs or feeling like you can't stand are also common symptoms.

7. If you find you have trouble swallowing or unusual dry mouth episodes, these may be indications of anxiety.

8. Fear of people around you and the desire to be alone are feelings that many anxiety sufferers face.

9. The inability to leave your home can be a symptom of severe anxiety or panic disorder.

10. If your normal activities become overwhelming to you, you could be suffering from anxiety or a panic disorder.

The good news is these symptoms and conditions are no longer thought of as being something people shouldn't reveal or talk about. There is help for you if you suffer from anxiety. 

Many mental health clinics and hospitals offer affordable help if you are on a lower or fixed income. Your health insurance may help you get treatment, and they cannot reveal your medical treatment to your employer.

As scientists and the medical world become more informed about these disorders, more medications, and other forms of relief are found to be effective in treating them. Relaxation techniques are very effective and can even be done at home or in the workplace.

Understanding your situation can help you alleviate the stress and fear these panic attacks cause. It will also help you and your healthcare provider find a solution to stopping the attacks altogether. Living in fear of another panic attack will hold you hostage and prevent you from doing the things you love.

If you suffer from some of the symptoms above, seek help from a professional. Get the treatment you need to get you back on the road to peace, health, and happiness. You will be glad


How to Free Yourself from Anxiety


How To Free yourself from anxiety

Anxiety and worry can take over your life if you allow it to. Whether we like it or not, constant stress and worry can physically make us sick. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate anxiety.

The first step is to figure out exactly what you are stressing about. Is it something you can change? Is it something you have no control over? By determining the root of your anxiety. you can better understand how you can overcome it.

For example, if you are feeling anxious about losing your job, you have the capability to change this worry. You can work harder to prove that you are an indispensable part of the team or you can start searching for a new job. Taking action is the surest way to defeat anxiety.

The truth is, there are many situations that you can change with some effort. For example, if you are concerned about your weight, the good news is that you can change it! You already know it takes a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise. Little by little, your weight will melt away and your health will improve.

By determining the root of your anxieties, and developing ways to turn them into something positive, you can overcome them.

Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your anxiety.

1. Know your anxieties. Write them down exactly what is causing your anxiety, then note down ways you can change the outcome. Knowing what you are up against is the key to feeling better about yourself and your current situation.

2. Breathe! Once you have pinpointed the things you need to change, sit back and take a breath. This form of relaxation can help you calm your racing heart and give you peace of mind. Rapid breathing from anxiety can lead to a panic attack. Breathe deeply and slowly as soon as you feel yourself becoming worried or anxious.

Download: Breathing exercises to relieve stress quickly

3. Visualize. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to overcome anxiety is the technique of visualization. Choose a quiet space in your home, light some candles, and close your eyes.

 Imagine yourself in your ideal situation. Feel how calm you are and visualize letting go of your worries. Think how happy you will be once your source of stress has been diminished. Positive visualization can help you move toward the happier vision you have created in your mind.

4. Use positive affirmations. When things get tough and you feel yourself losing control, repeat a positive statement over and over in your head. For example, if you need a job, you can repeat something like: "I am a valuable and hardworking individual who is worthy of a fulfilling new opportunity!"

Reaffirming positive thoughts repeatedly can help you believe that anything is possible. The power of the mind is endless.

5. Diet and exercise. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can physically help you handle stress and anxiety. The stronger the body is, the stronger the mind is. It is a fact that if you abuse your body with junk foods and alcohol, your body and mind will react negatively.

6. Seek support. Seeking professional help and reaching out to friends and family can do wonders to help you get rid of your anxiety.

Once you have seen that someone else has gone through and overcome what you are experiencing, it gives you hope that you, too can do the same.

Anxieties are a part of everyday life. How you chose to manage them is what makes the difference.

Read: Dealing with stress? 5ways to relieve stress

Thursday 14 October 2021

Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide.  In this article, you will learn about breast cancer, its common symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated.

 Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer in the United States. In Nigeria, more than 100,000 thousand cases are reported every year. In this article, you will learn about breast cancer, its common symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated.


What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the breast. This happens when abnormal breast cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner creating a tumor or mass of cells. Breast cancer can grow into tissues surrounding the breast. 

There are different kinds of breast cancer depending on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. The breast is made up of three parts. These are the lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Connective tissue holds everything together. Most breast cancer starts in the ducts or lobules. It can also travel to other parts of the body like the lungs, bones e.t.c. and form new tumors there. This process is called metastasis. 

What Causes Breast Cancer

It is difficult to say what makes a woman develop breast cancer because the causes have not been fully understood. However, there are some risk factors that have been found to increase the possibility of developing cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer.

Family history

If you have a family member like a mother, daughter, or sister who has developed breast or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing cancer. Genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
 It is possible for these genes to be passed on from parent to child.


The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Many breast cancers are diagnosed after the age of 50.

Reproductive history

Starting periods before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose the woman's body longer to hormones which can increase the risk of getting cancer.

Personal history of breast cancer

Women who had breast cancer before are at a higher risk of developing it again.

Previous radiation therapy treatment

Women who had radiation therapy to the chest or breast before the age of 30 are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

These risk factors can be reduced with lifestyle modification

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight after menopause
  • Being physically inactive

Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. One of the most common symptoms is a breast lump or thickening of the breast. If you find an unusual lump or thickening of the breast, it is important to consult your healthcare provider immediately for a proper examination.

Read: How to do breast self-examination

Other symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Pain in the nipple and pulling in(retraction) of the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge that is not breast milk including blood
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Change in shape or size of the breast
  • Dimpling, redness or pitting, or any change in the skin of the breast

Read: How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Friday 8 October 2021

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?

 Breast cancer screening means checking the breasts for signs of cancer even before they have symptoms. Screening is done to find cancer early when it can be treated. Your doctor may recommend screening even when you have no symptoms. Talk to your doctor to determine the right kind of screening test for you.

Types of screening


This is the most common type of screening test. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. They help to find tumors that are so small you can't feel them. It can also help to find ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) where abnormal cells line the breast duct.

Mammography Guidelines

Women age 40-54 are recommended to get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older who are at average risk can get mammograms done every two years.

Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and expected to live ten more years or longer.

Types of mammograms

There are three types of mammograms.

  • Film mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast.
  • Digital mammogram is a picture of the breast taken by a computer.
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis takes pictures of the breast from many angles using X-rays. A computer then makes 3D images of the breast using these pictures.

Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI)

The breast MRI uses magnets, radio waves, and computers to take detailed pictures of the breast tissues. This is used in addition to the mammogram to screen women at high risk of getting cancer. MRI does not use X-rays and you are not exposed to radiation.

Factors that put women at risk include a family history of breast cancer(mother, daughter, or sister), certain gene changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and some genetic conditions like Li-Fraumeni and Cowden Syndrome.

Clinical Breast Exam

The breasts are inspected and checked for lumps or any other abnormality by a doctor or health professional.

Breast Self Examination

This is not usually included as part of breast screening because there is no evidence to show that it decreases the chances of dying from cancer. However, it helps you to become familiar with the look and feel of your breast so you can know when there are unusual changes in the breast.

Read: How To Do Breast Self Exam

Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of breast cancer and what type of screening test is appropriate for you.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

How To Do Breast Self- Exam

How to do breast self exam

What is breast self-exam?

Breast self-exam is inspecting and examining your breasts regularly on your own. This helps you to increase your breast awareness so you know the look and feel of your breasts.  When you are familiar with your own breast, you will know when there are abnormal changes which you should report to your doctor promptly.

What is the purpose of breast self-examination?

Breast self-examination can help you to become more breast-aware. You get to know the normal state of your breasts so you can detect any abnormalities on time. Though breast self-examination is not recommended as part of breast cancer screening, regular breast self-examination can help you detect signs of infection or breast cancer. However, they should not replace regular screening tests like mammograms and examinations by your doctor. A mammogram can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is very important. 

Adult women are encouraged to do a breast self-exam at least once a month. Women who are still having regular periods should have their breast exams after their period. Women who have stopped menstruating or have irregular periods can choose a day that is consistent and easy to remember like the first day of each month.

How to perform a breast self-exam 

You can do the breast exam while doing some of your regular activities like taking a shower, dressing or undressing, or lying in bed. It takes only a few minutes and it's easy to do.

 Visual Inspection

 With your shirt and bra removed, stand in front of a mirror. Put your arms down by your sides. Look for any changes in breast shape, breast swelling, dimpling in the skin, or changes in the nipples.

Raise your arms high overhead and look for the same things. Finally, put your hands on your hips and press firmly to make your chest muscles flex. look for the small changes again. Be sure to look at both breasts.

Manual examination while standing up

With your shirt and bra removed, use your right hand to examine your left breast, then vice versa. With the pads of your three middle fingers, press on every part of one breast. Use light pressure, then medium, then firm. Feel for any lumps, thick spots, or other changes. A circular pattern may help you make sure you hit every spot. 

Then, press the tissue under the arm. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple gently to check for discharge. Repeat the steps on the other side of the body.

Manual examination while lying down

When you lie down, your breast tissue spreads more evenly. So this is a good position to feel for changes. Lie down and put a pillow under your right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, apply the same techniques as step 2, using the pads of your fingers to press all parts of your breast tissue and under your arm. Finally, swap the pillow to the other side, and check the other breast and armpit. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple gently to check for discharge.

 If you find a lump or any abnormality, don't panic! Many breast lumps can be caused by other conditions that are not cancer. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to have your breasts examined by a professional immediately.

Learning how to do breast self-exam is recommended for every woman.


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