Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
One in eight women in the United States will get diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. This statistic is one of the reasons why prioritizing self-checks is key, even when it’s not Breast Cancer Awareness month.
According to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, adult women should complete breast exams at least once a month. Mayo Clinic explains, “a breast self-exam for breast awareness is an inspection of your breasts that you do on your own.” While this sounds simple, I often find myself forgetting these self-examinations.
Here are five tools created to help women manage their breast exams.
Stickers For Your Planner
These adorable, hand-made, stickers are created specifically to remind women about their next breast exam. These stickers are a fun and easy reminder to complete a breast examination. At the beginning of the year, individuals can fill their planners with one breast examination sticker a month. This will keep them on track throughout the year, even if their schedule starts to become hectic. A fifteen pack of stickers is less than five dollars, and can be purchased here.
Download an App
There are several apps available for both iPhone and Android devices that focus on breast self-examinations. These apps are helpful because they are extremely interactive, allowing you to set reminders, find nearby clinics, and schedule appointments. With several apps available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one. Health Line highlights the top applications of 2016. Each application has its advantages, and you can check out the list here.
Many clinics, primary care physicians, and doctors provide these for free. Shower hangers are cards women can hang in the shower that help them keep track of breast examinations. These cards are water-proof, and provide detailed instructions on how to preform breast examinations. I would definitely recommend asking your doctor about these card but the cards are also available for purchase here.
Another easy way to keep track of breast self-examinations is by having an accountability buddy. Ask one of your close girl friends to remind you about breast examinations once a month. If she forgets, you can remind her. Keeping each other accountable will improve not only your health, but your friend’s as well. It is great to have multiple accountability buddies to raise breast cancer awareness and work towards early detection.
I think sticky notes are a great tool for simple reminders. It’s as easy as writing a note to yourself that says “remember your breast exam this month” and hanging it on your mirror. What I like to do is stack twelve sticky notes on top of each other and label them by month, starting January. Each month, you can complete a breast exam and pull off a sticky note. It’s a simple technique that can make a major difference.
At the end of the day, different techniques work for different women. Early detection is a great way to catch breast cancer before it spreads. For more information on breast cancer, and more information on what you can do if you detect a problem, visit this website.