Your breasts change throughout your life. But monthly breast self-exams can help you learn what is normal for you. That way, you are more likely to notice any unusual changes. Try to check your breasts one week after your period each month. If you don't have periods, aim for the first of each month.
Look in the mirror with your hands at your sides. Then raise your arms. Do you see any flattening, bulging, or puckering on your breasts? Next, raise your arms, then put your hands on your hips. Look for changes in your breast movement or shape as you move your arms.
Lie on your side with a pillow under your right shoulder. Put your right arm above your head. (You can also do this exam in the shower with soapy hands.)
Feel your right breast with your left hand.
Use an up-and-downpattern. Use the same pattern each month.
Use the pads of your three middle fingers. Move over the breast in small circles (the size of a dime).
Feel for lumps or thickening.
Repeat on your left side.
Note any discharge from your nipple.
Publication Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Publication Source: US National Library of Medicine
Online Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Online Source: US National Library of Medicine
Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00
Date Last Modified: 2005-06-01T00:00:00-06:00
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