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Breast health primarily starts with good breast care, by knowing how to do self exams and breast awareness. All girls develop at a different rate and over time you must see noticeable changes in your breasts. Keeping your breast in good shape and health should be an important aspect of every woman’s wellness plan. Here are a few suggestions how you can do that:

Know your breasts

Breast awareness is a key to early detection of changes which can help prevent not only cancer but serious infections. Perform a monthly breast self examination or simply feel your breasts for any changes, regularly. Report any change to your doctor immediately if you find something unusual.

Have a regular mammogram

You should begin having regular mammograms after age of 40. This helps in detecting breast cancer early, while its more easily treatable. If your mother or sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer or if you have a family history of BRCA gene mutation you should begin mammogram by age of 35.

Choosing the right Bra

Choose bras that are made of natural, breathable fibers and change it regularly to avoid dermatitis and other fungal infections. A good bra should be supportive, but not so tight that it binds or chafes. Hand wash bras in gentle, natural detergents as breast skin is sensitive and can be irritated by any harsh chemical residue left after washing.

Mastitis

This is the most common infection among nursing mothers. It is characterised by redness, swelling and pain but can be treated by antibiotics. Empty both breasts fully and regularly and nurse on both sides. Keep your nipples clean and make sure baby latches on correctly.

Size

Your breast size keeps on changing significantly for your complete lifetime. A wrong size bra or a one that used to fit you few years back, may actually be the cause of skin irritation, pain and sagging. Its recommended to visit stores with trained salespeople who can help you get the right fit.

Know your Nipples

You need to understand the difference between cyclical hormonal nipple discharge and an infectious discharge. There are variety of reasons for fluid to come out of your nipples, from pregnancy to medication side effects.

Don’t ignore lumps

While vast majority of breast lumps are not cancer, they need to be taken seriously. Report any newly discovered lump to doctor if it lasts longer than a month (if you are still having your periods) or immediately, if you’re post-menopausal.

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