Breast Self-Examination

Just as your period ends (or at the same time each month if you do not have periods), check for any change in the normal look or feel of your breasts. Report any changes to your doctor or nurse. Go for regular breast exams and ask about a thermography.

 

Step 1: Lying Down

  • Lie down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder
  • Use the pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to check your right breast.
  • Press using light, medium and firm pressure in a circle without lifting your fingers of the skin.

 

 

  • Follow an up and down pattern.
  • Feel for changes in your breast, above and below your collarbone and in your armpit.
  • Repeat on your left breast using your right hand.

These steps may be repeated while bathing or showering using soapy hands.

 

 

Step 2: In Front of the Mirror

Look for any changes from normal. Inspect your breasts in four steps:

  • Hold arms at your side.
  • Hold arms over your head.

 

 

 

 

  • Press your hands on your hips and tighten your chest muscles.
  • Bend forward with your hands on your hips.

Warning Signs

See your doctor or nurse if you notice any of these things in your breasts:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening.
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening.
  • Change in the size or shape.
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts.
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away.
  • Clinical breast exams by a health care provider at least every.
  • 3 years starting at age 20, and every year after 40.
  • Breast self-exams every month starting by age 20.