Breast Health Awareness Seminar

TABLE OF CONTENT                                             

Table of Content


Aim of the Paper

Breast Health Awareness

Purpose of Breast self Examination

Limitation and Risk of Breast Health awareness

How to perform Breast self Examination

How Breast self examination can boost women’s health

Implication to Nursing





 In Nigeria, the number of women at risk for breast cancer increase steadily from approximately 24.5 million in 1900 to approximately 40 million in 2010 and is projected to rise to over 50 million by 2020. Akarolo .S, et al (2010).

In the present scenario, roughly one in 26 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time, majority of cases occurring in premenopausal women.   Dosh .D, et al (2010).

Cancer has become a major source of morbidity and mortality globally. Data collected from two population-based cancer registries in Nigeria, the Ibadan population-based Cancer Registry (IBCR) and the Abuja population-based Cancer Registry (ABCR) covering a 2-year period 2009–2010, revealed that a total of 3393 cancer cases were registered by the IBCR, whereas during the same period 1128 invasive cancers were reported by ABCR. For women, mean age at diagnosis of all cancers in Ibadan and Abuja were 49.1 and 45.4, respectively. Breast and cervical cancers were the commonest among women. Jeddy-Agba .E et al (2012).

 For women to present early, they need to be aware about the disease and must be able to recognize symptoms of breast cancer through routine practice. Poor knowledge about breast cancer symptoms delays early diagnosis. Women in the rural areas are the most vulnerable group and are the poorly informed individuals.


This lack of knowledge can affect them, if necessary actions are not taken.

Reaching out to them at the grass root level will help in early detection through proper health teaching on breast changes, Tetteh D.A et al (2016).

Breast comes in all shapes and sizes and will change from adolescence to menopause. Breast lumps, cysts, mastitis, cancer and painful breasts can occur in many women. Knowing what is normal, how to conduct a breast check and when to see your Doctor if you are worried about changes to your breasts is important.


In this seminar, you will find information on breast problems, including breast-cancer warning signs, screening options and a Breast self examination guide. Breast health awareness aims to increase awareness and reduce stigma linked to the symptoms and treatment of breast health problems, especially cancer.

Though the provision of education about the characteristics of breast cancer  to the general public, supporter believe that more people can be more informed about the disease, leading to improved treatment outcomes for the affected women due to earlier detection and better treatment methods.


The specific objective of the paper are:

  1.   To know when women health become a concern due to change in age.
  2. To know  the best way to do a breast self-examination.
  3. To know the risk and limitations of breast self examination.
  4. To know  what should be done  if one finds a breast lump.

Breast health awareness

Breast health begins with a sense of what’s normal for your breasts (breast awareness). To promote breast health, consider doing regular breast self-exams. With practice, you’ll discover how your breasts vary in sensitivity and texture at different times during your menstrual cycle. For many women, breast health includes concerns about breast lumps, breast pain or nipple discharge. Know what’s normal — and when to consult your doctor. It’s also important to understand common screening and diagnostic tests for breast health, such as clinical breast exams, mammograms and breast ultrasounds. Anderson B, Shyyan R(2012).

No matter your age, to keep your breasts healthy it helps to learn what’s normal and what’s not. It will put you on the lookout for changes that could be signs of trouble. Just like any part of your body, find out what to expect at different stages of life. “Knowing what your breasts look and feel like can help you recognize when something is suddenly different,” says Pamela Peeke, MD,(2015) author of Body for Life for Women. “The same way you pay attention to your skin and watch for new moles, you should pay attention to your breasts.”

Your doctor may give you a breast exam at your annual visit, and may teach you how to do a self-exam at home. Research doesn’t show that breast exams save lives or detect cancers earlier, but many doctors still recommend them. And it’s always a good idea to be aware of your body and let your doctor know if you notice any changes.

What’s Normal, What’s Not

You may sometimes worry that your breasts don’t look “right.” But most of the things women are concerned about are not actually that unusual, Peeke says. For example, it’s completely normal if:

Your breasts are slightly different sizes.

One breast hangs slightly lower than the other.

You have hair around your nipples.

Your breasts hurt or feel tender before and during your period.

Tell your doctor if you see any unusual changes, though. For example, make an appointment if you notice:

A firm lump you’ve never felt before

Swelling around your breast, collarbone, or armpit

Dry, cracked, red, or thickened skin (like an orange peel) around your nipple

Blood or fluid (besides milk) leaking from your nipples

Warmth or itching in your breasts

These symptoms don’t always mean something’s wrong, but it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. They may be harmless changes, or they may be caused by an irritation or infection that can be easily treated. Rarely, they can be signs of cancer.

You may need to see a doctor if your nipple looks like it’s pulling back into the breast. But only if it’s a change in your appearance, says Erin Hofstatter, MD, assistant professor of medical oncology at Yale School of Medicine. “Roughly 10% of women have naturally inverted nipples,” she says. It’s not a problem if it’s something you’ve had all along.

Purpose of breast self examination

A breast self-exam that you do for breast awareness helps you understand the normal look and feel of your breasts. If you notice a change in your breasts that seems abnormal or if you notice one breast is different when compared with the other, you can report it to your doctor. There are many conditions that can cause changes in your breasts, including breast cancer.

Although the breast self-exam technique isn’t always a reliable way to detect breast cancer, a significant number of women report that the first sign of their breast cancer was a new breast lump they discovered on their own. For this reason, doctors recommend being familiar with the normal consistency of your breasts.

Limitations and Risks in Breast Health awareness

A breast self-exam for breast awareness is a safe way to become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts.

However, there are some limitations and risks, including:

  • Anxiety caused by finding a lump. Most of the changes or lumps women find in their breasts aren’t cancerous. Still, finding something suspicious in your breast can make you anxious about what it may mean. You may endure several days of worry until you can see your doctor.
  • Additional tests and procedures may be necessary to check out lumps or changes. If you discover a suspicious lump, you may end up having imaging test such as a diagnostic mammogram or a breast ultrasound, or a procedure to remove breast tissue for examination (biopsy). If it turns out the lump was noncancerous (benign), you might feel that you’ve undergone an invasive procedure unnecessarily.
  • Overestimating the benefits of self-exams. A breast self-exam isn’t a substitute for a breast exam by your doctor (clinical breast exam) or a screening mammogram. Becoming familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts can supplement breast cancer screening, but can’t replace it. National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP2012).
error: Content is protected !!