How to Do a Breast Self-Examination

July 29, 2014

If you're unsure about how to properly conduct a breast self-exam, here's how.

Conducting breast self-examinations is a simple process, and anyone can do it. You can complete your exam in just three steps:

  • While in the shower, place your right arm behind your head. With your left hand, check your right breast for lumps or thickenings.
  • Using the pads of your first three fingers on your left hand, move your fingers in either a circular, up and down, or wedging motion, applying varying levels of pressure – ranging from light, medium, to firm – in overlapping, dime-sized, circular motions. Be sure to check the entire breast, cleavage, underarm area, and the top of the rib cage. Then, place your left arm behind your head and repeat this process on the opposite breast.
  • Repeat these steps while standing in front of a mirror, looking for changes in shape, color, size, skin texture, or unusual discharge from the nipples. Then, repeat the process while lying down.

Keep in mind that all women are different, and there is significant variation among breasts. It is common for one breast to be larger than the other, and the left and right breast will not exactly match – most women’s don’t. Should you find any irregularities, contact your doctor or a health care professional. Or, reach out to us here at the Breast Diagnostic Center.

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