Self Breast Exam
Early diagnosis is the key to surviving breast cancer. Regular breast screenings are the best way to detect breast cancer early, when it is easiest to treat. All women should perform monthly breast self-examinations. It is suggested that women aged 40 and over should get a breast screening and clinical breast exam every other year. Women over the age of 40 are at the highest risk for breast cancer.
|In The Shower
Fingers flat, move gently over
every part of the breast.
Check for any lump, hard knot
|In The Mirror
Inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead and look for any changes in contour of each breast, a swelling, dimpling of skin, or changes in the nipple.Then, rest palms on hips and press down firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breast will not match exactly—few women’s breasts do. Regular inspection shows what is normal for you and will give you confidence in your examination.
To examine your right breast, put a pillow or folded towel under your right shoulder. Place your right hand behind your head—this distributes breast tissue more evenly on the chest.
|With your left hand, fingers flat, press gently in small circular motions around an imaginary clock face.Begin at outermost top of your right breast for 12 o’clock, then move to 1 o’clock, and so on around the circle back to 12. A ridge of firm tissue in the lower curve of each breast is normal.Then move in an inch, toward the nipple, keep circling to examine every part of your breast including nipple. This requires at least three more circles.
Now slowly repeat the procedure on your left breast with a pillow under your left shoulder and left hand behind head. Notice how your breast structure feels.
|Finally, squeeze the nipple of each breast gently between thumb and index finger. Any discharge, clear or bloody, should be reported to your doctor immediately|