to Peform a Breast Self-Examination
self-examination is one of the best tools available for discovering breast
cancer in the early, most treatable stages. Make a monthly self-exam part
of your regular routine.
Level: easy Time Required: 15 minutes
Breast self exams can be performed in any one of
three ways: 1. in a circular motion; 2. up and down
or 3. from the outer edges toward the nipple.
the self-exam on the same day each month. Pre-menopause: a week after
menstruation. Post-menopause: any date.
in front of the mirror with both arms by your side and look closely
at both of your breasts.
for changes in size, color or texture. (These may be signs of Inflammatory
on the bed, put a towel or small pillow under your right shoulder and
put your right hand behind your head.
- With the
middle three fingers of your left hand examine your right breast
at the nipple and go in circles around your breast until the ENTIRE
surface is examined. Alternatively, move your fingers up-and-down your breast from top to bottom; OR move your fingers from the outer edges of your breast inward toward the nipple to insure a complete self-exam.
- Pay attention
to any changes ( lumps, bumpy texture, tenderness ) from last month's
you examine your breast, move to your underarm (lymph node area) and
look for changes there.
press the nipple and check for discharge and changes in the nipple itself.
the same procedure with the left breast.
- In the
shower, examine your right breast and underarm area exactly the way
you did on the bed (except for the pillow, of course).
the same procedure on your left side.
your entire breast and under arm area. If you do notice any changes
or lumps, don't panic. Most lumps are benign fibroadenomas or cysts.
- If you
examine your breasts every month you become familiar with the way they
feel and look. That makes it easier to notice any changes.
- Make sure
to tell your doctor if you notice any changes in your breasts. Early
treatment is the best way to survive cancer!
Also see -> What's
this about mammograms?
Old "They Found a Lump" Blues
on the Web:
to Do Breast Self-Exams