Breast Self-Exam: How to Perform, What to Look For


What is a breast self-exam?

A breast self-exam is a bit-by-bit method acting women can use to examine their breasts. By looking at and feeling your breasts regularly, you can notice anything that seems abnormal .

Why should I do breast self-exams?

monthly breast self-exams can help you detect changes that may be signs of infection or summit cancer ( such as front lumps or spots that feel different ). When breast cancer is detected early, the chances for survival are much better .
Self-exams are authoritative for breast health. But they should not replace exams and screening tests ( such as mammograms ) recommended by doctors. You should still see your elementary worry provider and/or gynecologist regularly .

Is there a particular time of the month I should do breast self-exams?

Women should do a breast self-exam once a calendar month, every month. Women who are even menstruating ( having a regular menstruation ) should perform a summit self-exam after their period. Women who have stopped menstruate and those who have identical irregular periods can pick a day each month. Choose a day that is consistent and easy to remember, like the first gear day of the calendar month, the last day of the month or your front-runner issue.

How long does a breast exam take?

A breast self-exam takes only a few minutes and can easily be built into your daily agenda. You can do a breast examination when you ’ re :

  • Dressing for the day or undressing at night.
  • Lying in bed in the morning or at bedtime.
  • Taking a shower.

Test Details

What are the steps of a breast self-exam?
1. Visual inspection: With your shirt and brassiere removed, stand in presence of a mirror. Put your arms down by your sides. Look for any changes in breast form, breast well, dimpling in the bark or changes in the nipples. next, raise your arms eminent viewgraph and expression for the lapp things. last, put your hands on your hips and weigh firm to make your chest muscles flex. Look for the same changes again. Be surely to look at both breasts .
breast self-exam in mirror
breast self-exam
breast self-exam in mirror
breast self-exam
2. Manual inspection while standing up: With your shirt and brassiere removed, use your right hired hand to examine your left breast, then frailty versa. With the pads of your three middle fingers, press on every character of one breast. Use lightly pressure, then average, then tauten. Feel for any lumps, midst spots or other changes. A circular pattern may help you make indisputable you hit every touch. then, press the tissue under the arm. Be certain to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple gently to check for drop. Repeat the steps on the early side of your body .
Breast Self-Exam

Breast Self-Exam
breast self-exam, circular pattern
Breast Self-Exam
3. Manual inspection while lying down: When you lie down, your breast tissue spreads more evenly ,. So this is a good military position to feel for changes, particularly if your breasts are big. Lie down and put a pillow under your veracious shoulder. Place your correct weapon behind your head. Using your left field hand, apply the same proficiency as dance step 2, using the pads of your fingers to press all parts of the breast weave and under your arm. last, swap the pillow to the other side, and check the other summit and armpit. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple gently to check for discharge .
Breast Self-Exam
breast self-exam, nipple squeeze self-exam

Results and Follow-Up

When should I call my doctor about something I find in my breast self-exam?
If you find a lout or any early unreassuring changes, arrest calm. Most self-exam findings are not signs of breast cancer. But you should hush call your healthcare supplier if you notice any :

  • Change in the look, feel or size of the breast.
  • Change in the look or feel of the nipple.
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
  • Lump, hard knot or thick spot in the breast tissue.
  • Nipple discharge.
  • Nipple or other area pulling inward.
  • Pain in one spot that won’t go away.
  • Rash on the nipple.
  • Swelling of one or both breasts.
  • Warmth, redness, or dark spots on the skin.

A note from Cleveland Clinic
Performing a monthly breast self-exam will help you maintain breast health and detect early signs of disease. You can incorporate the steps of a summit examination into your even routine, such as when you get ready for sleep together or take a shower. With each breast self-exam, you will become more companion with your soundbox. When you know what ’ s normal for you, you will be more aware when changes occur .
many hospital clinics and healthcare supplier offices focus on breast cancer awareness services, including front cancer screening. You can help your healthcare team maintain your breast health by taking a few minutes once a month to conduct a front self-exam .

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