Breasts play a significant role in women’s lives: They spend much of their time stuffed in various bras, examined monthly (hopefully) for any suspicious lumps, and perhaps used as a food source for a baby or two. They do a lot for us, so we should take care of them. Here’s how:
- Wear a properly fitted bra. Your breasts are held up by ligaments, which attach to muscles. Over time, if not properly supported, the weight of your breasts can stretch these ligaments and sagging will occur. “When bras don’t fit right, they can cause neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain,” said Baptist Health Paducah Nurse Navigator, Terri Walters, RN. Most department stores provide free bra fittings so you can be sure you’re wearing the right size and type of bra.
- Protect them from the sun. Walters recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and wearing it even on overcast days. Baptist Health Oncologist Yashpal Modi, MD, added, “The best thing is to avoid the sun – either stay in the shade or cover up.” Regularly check skin and note any changes. “If there’s anything concerning, go to your doctor.”
- Check them regularly. “Check your breasts in the shower, or in front of the mirror each month, four to five days after your period starts,” Dr. Modi recommended. Look for and feel for any changes in your breasts. Lumps and bumps do not necessarily mean cancer, so don’t panic. But do check with your doctor.
Learn more about the various women’s services that are offered at Baptist Health.