Tips & Techniques For Self Examining Your Breast

Submitted on March 27, 2012

It is important to do self breast exam for any woman who is twenty years of age or above. While this test is optional for everyone, through the breast self examination technique, one can detect lumps in the breast and this can help detect breast cancer. If you perform the simple tests yourself, then you can spot changes like lumps, or masses that could be the initial signs of cancer. The best time to do a breast self examination (BSE) is a week after your periods. That time your breasts won’t be swollen or tender. Try to fix a day every month for breast check-ups and try to do it on the same day every month. If you find any changes after the test, you must consult your doctor about it.

However, you must remember that in several cases, the changes need not be cancer.

How to give yourself a self breast exam

You can try the following steps or ask your doctor to recommend certain steps.

  • Stand in front of the mirror and keep your arms at your side. Then look at your breasts carefully. Keep your hands on your hips and examine again. Then raise your arms and flex the muscles of your chest, and look at your breasts.
  • Then look at your breasts and check for dimpling of the skin, swelling, changes in the contour and the way the nipple looks. Remember that it’s not necessary for the two breasts to match.
  • Then with your finger tips, press on to your breasts. Check the whole breast as well as the armpits. Use a circular motion, a wedge pattern or an up or down motion while checking for lumps. Check both breasts and use the same methods every month. So, you can choose one method that you find more comfortable.
  • Squeeze your nipples gently and check for discharge. If there is any discharge, then speak to your doctor about it, in order to find out the cause for the same.
  • Then lie down and examine both breasts. When you are examining the right breast, put a pillow below your right shoulder and place your right hand behind the head. With your finger tips, check the right breast and armpit with firm movements. Do the same for the left breast.

Note during Self Examining your Breast

Breast cancer can strike at any age. If you are able to detect a lump early and if it is malignant, then your chances of recovery are better than discovering a lump when it is thriving and spreading the cancerous cells at a faster pace.