Ok, so right off the bat: this is a MASSIVE topic and obviously, we didn’t have room to include everything in this comic! Make sure you check out the links below to give yourself a much more thorough education on the subject :)
Breast self exams aren’t just for cisgender women with typically un-lumpy boobers! The point of self exams is to just familiarize yourself with how your chest feels normally, so you’ll be able to tell if something changes and you can check in with your doc about it.
Thanks to having Fibrocystic breasts, I don’t so much have “funbags” as I have “bags-full-of-marbles”. It makes my chest constantly lumpy on the inside (fortunately not on the outside!) and for the longest time I thought giving myself breast exams was pointless because… because I already know they’re full of lumps! But it turns out that even if you’re lumpy like me, you should still learn to tell the difference between your regular chest chunks and This Could Be Bad News bumps. Oh, and I did have two benign tumors cut out, so now I’ve got these scars on my left titty that make me look like a badass.
Having your breasts removed doesn’t get you off the hook for checking, either! Some of that breast tissue still gets left behind in your chest after surgery, and unfortunately it remains capable of picking up cancer. Check out my links below for more information for folks who have surgically altered their chests or who have grown breasts by taking additional hormones.
Anyway Anyway Anyway. Enough from me. Check out these links from the American Cancer Society, who actually know what they’re talking about:
What Is Breast Cancer?, Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms, Breast Cancer Treatment
Transgender Breast Cancer Screening Resources
Breast Cancer Facts for Transgender Men and Women – Fenway Health
Screening for breast cancer in transgender women – Center of Excellence for Transgender Health
Breast cancer screening in transgender men – Center of Excellence for Transgender Health
Assigned Male at Birth Cancer Screening Resources:
Should Men Perform Self-Breast Exams? – DailyHealthWire
How is Breast Cancer in Men Classified? – American Cancer Society
Breast Cancer Screening for Men at Higher Risk – Komen
There is some debate as to the usefulness of Breast Self Exams, in preventing breast cancers. The American Cancer Society now lets people know that “There is very little evidence that these tests help find breast cancer early when women also get screening mammograms. Because of this, a regular clinical breast exam and breast self-exam are not recommended. Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care provider right away.“.
[Italics our emphasis, bolding is their own]
We think that last part’s the important bit, and following the advice at breastcancer.org we agree you should still perform regular self exams to get a good idea for how your breasts OUGHT to feel normally. It’s not going to stop or diagnose you of cancers, but it will let you know when something doesn’t feel right and we can all agree that’s very important!
Obviously, do what feels right for you!