What is a breast self-exam?
A breast self-examination is a self-inspection of your breasts in which you are looking for abnormalities such as lumps or other changes.
When should breast self-exams be done?
Checking your breast regularly or monthly will help you notice breasts changes more easily. Women can start performing breast self-exams in the early 20s and continue throughout their lifetime.
Abnormalities to look for:
- Swelling of breast
- Skin rashes or dimpling
- Nipple abnormalities
- Changes in breast size or shape
How to perform a self-breast exam
- Stand in front of the mirror with your hands on your hips and shoulders back and visually check each breast for any abnormalities. Check the skin for dimpling, redness or swelling. Look for nipple discharge or nipple changes.
- Gently squeeze each nipple and look for discharge.
- While looking in the mirror, put your hands behind your head and check for any breast changes.
- Feel your breasts while laying down using the pads of your fingers and a firm touch. Cover the entire breast top to bottom, side to side and look for any lumps or masses under the skin. Don’t forget to check your underarms and cleavage as well.
What if you find a lump?
If you find a lump or abnormal mass and you are concerned or scared, call your doctor. Your doctor will then decide if you need to come in for an exam right away. Remember that most lumps are not cancerous.
For more information on breast health services or to schedule an appointment, call our Christian Hospital referral line at 877.747.9355 or email us.