HOW TO DO A BREAST SELF-EXAM

HOW TO DO A BREAST SELF-EXAM

Breast self-exam, or regularly examining your breasts on your own, can be an important way to find breast cancer early when it’s more likely to be treated successfully. We would never recommend to completely rely on a self-exam, you should also visit your doctor once every few months and get all the tests done.  

Performing breast self-exam in combination with other screening methods can increase the odds of early detection. Breast self-exam is a convenient, no-cost tool that you can use on a regular basis and at any age. 

  

Step 1 Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. 

Here's what you should look for: 

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour 
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling 

     

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention: 

  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin 
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out) 
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Step 2 Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes. 

Step 3 While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

Step 4 Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. 

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. 

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. 

Step 5 Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.

  • In: Lifestyle