The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump. The majority of people (men and women) who attend a mammogram Los Angeles clinic outside of a regular checkup, do so because they have found a lump. However, there are also visible signs of breast cancer to be aware of, and these may appear much sooner than you can feel a lump.
How to Feel for a Lump
Every breast is different and if you are to spot an abnormality, you have to know what is normal first. A few days after your period is the best time to check. Cancerous lumps are very different from other lumps, because they tend to be unmovable and hard. Plus, they can come in lots of different shapes.
What to Expect
You may have found a symptom that you want to have investigated, or you may be going for your regular screening. Either way, knowing what to expect is very important. Unfortunately, if there is something that concerns you, you will have to wait for a biopsy to confirm what is going on.
If Life Gives You Lemons…
A lot of work has been done to empower women to increase their understanding of breast cancer. In a new campaign, visual cues are being used to overcome the three main challenges. Those are:
- The majority of messages regarding health are sent in written form, often with medical jargon. Even educated patients can be confused by those. In this country, around 20% of people have low levels of literacy, and this increases tremendously on a global scale. Hence, visual messages have had to be created.
- Breasts and sex still go hand in hand, and people censor images of breasts if displayed in public. Because of this, “showing” breast cancer can be very difficult, particularly in certain cultures. In order to save life, a different visual solution had to be found: the lemon.
- People are afraid of cancer – the “C” word. Women may be afraid of what is to come, which could prevent them from coming forward during the early, treatable stages of the cancer. Over 50% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in developing countries are in terminal stages. In developed countries, this is just 10%. This fear must be overcome by being friendly and familiar.
Lemons have been used firstly because they are visible even to people with zero literacy. Furthermore, lemons are non-sexual, and they do not make us think about death. Additionally, everybody knows what a lemon looks and feels like. By using the lemon to show common abnormalities to look out for, women can learn about their own breasts. Even in their own minds, they can substitute their breast with a lemon.
The #KnowYourLemons campaign has gone global and the founders of the campaign hope that they will be able to save countless lives through it. Millions of women globally have already been educated about breast cancer. The program is run by people who are truly passionate, and who have translated the campaign into 16 languages, and made it visible in 70 countries.