Updated: Aug 18
At the end of your monthly period you should perform a breast self- exam. If you no longer have a period or may have an irregular period, no fear pick a specific day to perform a self-exam monthly. Breast self-examines should involve a touch technique and a look technique.
1. Lie down and roll on your left side, to examine your right breast. Raise your right hand with your palm up and place it on your forehead. Make sure you are comfortable; pillows can be placed behind your shoulder or back. Your right breast should be as flat on your chest as possible.
2. Take your left hand and place it on your right breast. Use the flat pads of your pointer, middle, and ring fingers, start to move the pads in a circler motion not bigger than the size of a dime. Change the amount of pressure you apply, this way you call feel all levels of your breast tissue. Make each dime size circle 3 times. You can do one circle light pressure, one circle moderate pressure, then one circle deep pressure before moving on to the next area.
3. Start the same circle technique in your armpit then move down using a vertical strip pattern just below the bra line.
4. Then slide your fingers over just a finger width and move up and down again using the same circler motion in a vertical strip pattern. Don’t lift your fingers from the breast at any time, this will allow you to feel your entire breast. Continue this vertical strip pattern from your collar bone to just below your bra line, until you reach the nipple.
5. Checking the Right inner half or your breast. Once you reach your nipple remove pillows, roll on your back, remove your right hand from your forehead, and place this hand at a right angle. Use the same circler motion and pressure technique to check the nipple area. Then using the same vertical up and down strip motion to continue checking the rest breast, till you reach the middle of your chest.
Now roll on your right side, switch hands, and follow the steps above to check your left breast.
Self-examine using the look technique
Stand in front of a mirror to perform. You will look closely at your breast in three positions
1. Arms at your side
2. Raise both arms above your head and bend forward
3. Place your hands on your hips and hunch over
Make sure all these positions are viewed facing your body to the mirror right, left, as well as forward
Check for changes in the following:
Compare one breast to other. Take consideration that one breast is naturally larger than the other. But you are specifically looking for sudden changes in size.
Your looking for redness, rash, puckering, dimpling, or a any change in texture or color.
Check for sudden inversion, scaliness, redness, itching, swelling, or discharge present.
4. Vein Pattern
Check for noticeable increase in size or number of veins compared to the other breast.
Make sure to repeat this exam every month.
What to do if your notice a lump or unusual change?
Don’t panic, most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be not cancer. But make sure you contact your doctor to further evaluate.