How To Do A Self Breast Exam


  • The number one way to maintain healthy breasts is getting a mammogram.
  • After you get a mammogram and results appear normal, familiarize yourself with your breasts.
  • Examine your natural shape and feel for natural lumps so you know how your breasts are at a normal state. This will help you detect if there is any unfamiliar change in shape or lumps in the future.
  • At the same time every month -1 week after your period, perform a Self-Breast Exam by following the steps below:

How to do a Self Breast Exam

1. Look at your breasts in the mirror, standing with your shoulders straight and arms at your hips.

    Check that:

  • Breasts are of usual size, shape and color
  • Breasts are evenly shaped with no visible swelling

    If you see any of the following signs, report to your doctor:

  • Dimples or bulging skin
  • Nipple is inward instead of sticking out, nipple changed position
  • Soreness, redness, rash or swelling
  • Lump in breast
  • Nipple discharger or fluid from the nipples

2. Lift your arms in the air, and check for the same signs in step 1.

3. Now lay down flat on your back to perform the breast exam, so the breast tissue spreads evenly over your chest, making it easier to feel all the breast tissue.

Place your right arm behind your head. Using the 3 middle fingers on your left hand, feel for lumps in the right breast. With your finger pads together, use overlapping circular motions about the size of a quarter to feel your breasts.

Examine your entire breast – from your collar bone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

Using circular motions, move your fingers up and down the breasts vertically, in rows – starting at the armpit going down and back up, down and back up, all the way across the breast until you reach the cleavage. Do this in 3 different types of pressure – light, medium, and firm to check just below the skin all the way down to deep tissue.

Now, place your left arm behind your head and repeat the exam on your left breast using the finger pads on your right hand.

4. Next, check your breasts while you are standing or sitting down. Slightly (not all the way) raise your arm and check each breast with the same movements in step 3. You may do this in the shower, as it might be easier to feel your breasts when the skin is wet.

You should never ignore a breast lump or any other changes in your breasts, regardless of the results of your mammogram. If you find a lump or other change, talk to your doctor about it as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that good breast care involves a combination of three important steps: Monthly self breast examination, annual examination by a health care professional and periodic mammograms.

To learn more about breast cancer awareness, visit 

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