Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2015 is here, and it’s the perfect opportunity to pay a little extra attention to your breasts. While October is the official month to support women with breast cancer, it’s also a chance to raise awareness about breast health and self-examination.
We’ve put together a fun list of 6 facts about your breasts that might surprise you and even help you be healthier!
1. Your Breasts May Not Be the Same Size, and That’s Okay!
Next time you put on your bra, you may notice that one breast fills out the cup a little more than the other. Good news: differently sized breasts are totally normal! Just like one foot is often a bit larger than your other, it’s not at all uncommon for your right breast to be a little fuller than the left.
2. Your Breasts May Be Heavier Than You Think
Have you ever wondered just how much your breasts weigh? Of course it varies from woman to woman, but even smaller chested women may not realize how much weight they’re carrying around. The average bra is designed to hold up to 20 pounds; that’s about the weight of three bricks! Keep that in mind the next time you go bra shopping and try to consider support in addition to design.
3. Speaking of Bras…You’re Probably Wearing the Wrong Size
It’s tough to pick out the right bra. Whether you shop online or in the store, it’s hard to know which bras will keep you comfortable and supported all day long. Did you know that an estimated 80% of women are wearing the wrong size? It’s not surprising given our shapes change over time, yet many women forget to update their bra size over the years. Ask for help measuring your cup and band size at a local lingerie boutique or department store so you can get a better sense of which bra is right for you now.
4. Smoking May Make Your Breasts Sag
There are so many reasons not to smoke: it’s unhealthy for your lungs, leads to wrinkles, and stains your teeth. But did you know that smoking may also contribute to breast sagging? Long term smoking can break down elastin, the protein that keeps your gals perky (and your skin looking youthful). Don’t risk your health, your good looks, or your “girls”!
5. Breast Self-Exams Can Save Lives
Have you checked your breasts this month? If the answer is no, it is time to take action. A simple self-examination is one of the most effective ways to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that 40% of diagnosed cases of breast cancer are detected by women who feel a lump at home.
Bonus: A Few Tips to Ace Your Next Breast Self-Exam
- First off, do it every single month.
- The shower is one of the best places to do a self-exam, but standing in front of a mirror works too.
- Use the pads of your fingers to move around your entire breast in a circular pattern. Start from the outside and move toward your nipple.
- If you notice any lumps, thickening, or a hardened knot, talk to your healthcare provider right away. Better safe than sorry, right?
6. If You Are Diagnosed with Breast Cancer, You Have Lots of Options
If you bring your concerns to your doctor and he or she confirms that you have breast cancer, that doesn’t mean you have to look dramatically different for your entire life. Breast reconstruction is one way to feel comfortable with your body after a mastectomy or lumpectomy.
There are several different types of breast reconstruction surgery, so it’s important to work with a skilled surgeon who has experience in this field. Atlanta breast reconstruction patients are encouraged to choose a board certified plastic surgeon who can answer their questions and discuss options for restoring a beautiful, natural-looking breast appearance.
Those are just a few surprising things about your breasts. Do you have other tidbits to share? Write your favorite breast facts in the comments!