October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to provide education about the disease. Breast cancer has become more common in recent years – a change in lifestyle being a primary factor. Our environment is more toxic than ever and with higher stress levels. This can lead to more inflammation and detoxification problems which make us more prone to disease.

At Siskiyou Vital Medicine, we encourage members to understand and listen to their bodies and use nutrition and lifestyle to assist in becoming more resilient and healthier. To ward off toxins, there are several measures you can take, including eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, sleeping at least seven hours per night, not smoking and managing your stress.

In addition to these healthy habits, women of all ages are encouraged to perform a breast self-exam at least once a month. This helps you understand what is normal and promptly report any changes to your healthcare provider.

Siskiyou Vital Medicine recommends performing a breast self-exam in the following steps:

1) In the shower, with the pads/flats of your 3 middle finders, check the entire breast and armpit area pressing down with light, medium and firm pressure. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or any other breast changes.

2) In front of a mirror, visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and rights breasts will not exactly match, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

The more frequent you perform these self-exams, the more you will learn about your body and the easier it will become to notice anything unusual. Make sure to ask us about our supplements, including Klaire Labs’ Calcium D-Glucarate! This capsule supports detoxification by aiding in the removal of cancer-causing agents and toxins.

To discuss your breast health, findings or concerns, schedule an appointment with Siskiyou Vital Medicine at 541-210-5687.