Breast Self Examination
Why the Test is Performed
Breast self examination is recommended for every woman for the purpose of early detection and intervention for breast lumps or breast cancer.
How the Test is Performed
Begin by lying on your back. It is easier to examine all breast tissue if you are lying down.
Place your right hand behind your head. With the middle fingers of your left hand, gently yet firmly press down using small motions to examine the entire right breast.
Next, sit or stand. Feel your armpit, because breast tissue goes into that area. Gently squeeze the nipple, checking for discharge.
Repeat the process on the left breast.
Next, stand in front of a mirror with your arms by your side.
Look at your breasts directly and in the mirror. Look for changes in skin texture, such as dimpling, puckering, indentations, or skin that looks like an orange peel.
Also note the shape and outline of each breast.
Check to see if the nipple turns inward.
same with your arms raised above your head. Most women have some lumps. Your goal is to find anything new or different. If you do, seek medical assistance immediately.
How to Prepare For the Test
The best time to do a breast self exam is about 3 – 5 days after your period starts. Your breasts are not as tender or lumpy at this time in your monthly cycle. If you have gone through menopause, do your exam on the same day every month.
During the Test
All you have to do during the procedure is to be focused and pay attention to little details.
After the Test
You can go about your daily routine if you find nothing. However if you are not sure or you notice any abnormality, seek professional medical assistance right away.
There is no risk associated with doing a breast self examination.