The 60-Second Male Breast Self Exam (MBSE) for Superman
The male breast self exam (MBSE) is one of the most over-looked medical procedures performed by physicians. In part this is due to that male breast cancer in comparison to female breast cancer is a relatively rare event. However, according to the latest cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society, about 2,140 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed resulting in approximately 450 deaths in 2011. Many of these deaths will occur because men typically are not diagnosed until a late stage cancer develops. To protect yourself from becoming another breast cancer mortality statistic, you can put your healthcare in your hands by performing a simple 60-second male breast self exam in the privacy of your home.
Male Breast Self Exam Steps
1. Prior to the self-exam, take a hot shower to soften the skin and relax the muscles.
2. Lie flat on your back and extend your left arm above your head.
3. Using your right hand, hold your index, middle and ring fingers together like a Boy Scout salute.
4. Place the three-finger salute on the outside of your left breast region and press down gently.
5. Move your fingers in a slow, circular motion that gradually spirals toward the left nipple while focusing for any lumps or irregularities.
6. Once you reach the nipple, squeeze it like a man (you know what I mean) and look for any sign of discharge.
7. Switch arm and hand positions and examine the right breast.
8. Report any bumps, irregularities or changes to your physician.
Benefits of Male Breast Self Exam
The benefit of performing a monthly exam is that not only may it save your life or prevent you from having to undergo an invasive cancer treatment, but that it is also a lifestyle awareness procedure that will become a habit and likely lead to an increased self-awareness of other conditions that may affect your body someday. And, yes, there will be those “somedays” someday in our lives in spite of our invincibility.
Guys are invincible - it’s something we grew up with since we were kids. And while our significant others and our bodies may prove us wrong, deep inside we know that even Superman had his kryptonite, but he still prevailed against the odds and so will we. Denial is what prevents many of us from seeking diagnosis and treatment when we should (and do) know better. But perhaps denial tempered with a little self-delusion and good health habits such as an MBCE is not such a bad thing - I suspect it may be hope in another guise.
Let women have their pink ribbons. We are guys and what better symbol toward male breast cancer awareness than perhaps a glowing green crystal to show what Supermen we really are.
Reference: American Cancer Society