Touch Yourselfon Mar 07, 2017
A breast self-exam is a checkup that a woman makes at home to look for changes or problems in the breast tissue. Many women feel that doing this is important to their health.
The best time to have a breast self-exam is about 3 to 5 days after the start of your period. The breasts are not as sensitive or bulging at that time in your menstrual cycle.
If you have reached menopause, perform the examination the same day every month. Start by lying on your back. It is easier to examine all breast tissue if lying down. Place your right hand behind your head. With the middle fingers of the left hand press gently but firmly making small movements to examine the entire right breast. Then, sitting or standing, palpate the armpit, as the breast tissue extends to this area. Press gently on the nipples, checking for secretion. Repeat the process on the left breast. Use one of the patterns shown on the diagram to make sure you are covering all breast tissue. Then, stand in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Look at the breasts directly and in the mirror. Look for changes in the texture of the skin, such as dimples, wrinkles, dents or skin that looks like orange peel. Also observe the shape and contour of each breast. Check to see if the nipple is sagging.
Most women have some bumps. The goal is to find any new or different details. If you do, call your doctor right away.
Did you know 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? We can help and change this fact.
By supporting 1:Face we help educate women on examinations and provide mammograms and other self-exam classes through the National Breast Cancer Foundation charity.
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