We are surrounded by media images of "ideal breasts," but the reality is, few breasts are really shaped like those of the social "ideal." In fact, there is an astounding variety of breast shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Yours are probably perfect for you, but if you are concerned, talk to your parent or health care provider.
Remember that breasts develop at different ages and at different rates, and no one has perfectly symmetrical breasts.
One out of every nine women in the United States will get breast cancer during her lifetime. Breast cancer is most common in women who are 40 years of age, and most typically women who are over 50. It can occur in younger women, but this is extremely rare, and is virtually unheard of under the age of 20. Still, it is very important that you get in the habit of doing a regular breast exam -- cancer is easier to treat the earlier it is discovered.
Your doctor can give you information on how to do a breast self-examination. However, it is also important for your doctor to do an exam as well at your check-up.
Other things you can do to prevent breast cancer:
- Avoid heavy drinking
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy low-fat diet
- Take vitamin D
Are you unsure about what you are looking for in a self examination? You can visit one of our Community Health Resource Center in Palo Alto, Fremont, Dublin and Mountain View, and our nurse educators can teach you how to do one.