We have partnered with Kyle Richards, founder of the Kyle Richards Mammogram Day philanthropy event hosted annually by Bedford Breast Center in Beverly Hills, to bring awareness to breast self-exams.
Kyle and Bedford’s own Dr. Heather Richardson created a PSA that shows how to give yourself a breast exam. We want to demystify self-exams and encourage women everywhere to take one minute a month and advocate for their own breast health.
Learn about Kyle’s personal journey and have some fun watching her learn how to perform her own self-exam!
A Routine Means Everything
Why do it once a month? So you can know YOUR normal.
Being familiar with your breasts will help you spot changes in them during your self-exam.
All about Breast Self-Exams
What exactly is it?
A breast self-exam a visual and physical inspection of your own breasts. It should take about a minute, once a month.
The best time to do a self-exam is approximately 3-7 days after the first day of your period, when the breasts are less tender and lumpy.
Who should be doing them?
Women in their 20s and 30s should definitely be doing self-exams, but it’s never too early (or too late!) to start.
Younger women can use this a first line of defense for catching breast cancer early since regular mammography screenings aren’t required until age 40.
While women over 40 are encouraged to get a mammogram yearly, regular self-exams are also recommended, especially as rates of cancer diagnosis increase as we get older.
How do I do it?
There is no wrong way to do a self-exam, but it’s important to be thorough.
You can do it standing up or laying down, in the shower, or even at your desk on a lunch break! Looking in a mirror is also recommended so visual changes are easier to spot.
What should I be looking for?
As you get to know your normal, spotting any changes will become easier. Check your breasts for any unusual changes, including:
What if I find something?
It’s important to remember that changes in the breast can be normal.
Finding suspicious lumps, bumps, or changes does not mean you have cancer – the American Cancer Society states that most breast biopsy results do not detect cancer. Breast changes happen for all kinds of reasons: menstrual cycles, birth control pills, pregnancy, aging and menopause.
Be more attentive to lumps that are harder than other parts of your breast. Be on the lookout for hard and painless lumps, or any spots that are unusual to your touch. If you are breastfeeding, a lump can indicate a blocked milk duct and be a symptom of mastitis, a common condition that occurs when the breast tissue becomes inflamed.
Size does not matter, nor does it indicate if a cancer is minor or severe. Any changes in known lumps, or breast skin or nipples should be checked out by a doctor.
Routine breast self-examination is one of the best ways to detect a change in the breast. Get to know your breasts so you can identify what’s normal and what’s not. If you find something that is atypical for your normal, make sure you alert your doctor right away.
Early detection is the key to curing cancer, which is why we work to provide the most effective breast cancer screening available. If a cancer is discovered before it has moved to other areas of the breast or body, there is a much greater chance that it can be eradicated.
Kyle Richards Annual Mammogram Day
We are honored to launch the first annual Kyle Richards Mammogram Day at the Bedford Breast Center, in honor of her late mother, Kathy Richards.
This annual event offers free mammograms, breast health education, and genetic testing to women in need who may not have access to regular breast healthcare.
Kyle has been a long-time advocate for early detection, and we are thrilled to partner with her on this breast health initiative.