Breast Self-Exam

Step 1

Start by inspecting your breasts in the mirror. Stand with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips.
Check to see if your beasts are:
• usual in size, shape, and color
• evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

Contact your doctor if you find any signs
of the following:

• dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
• a nipple that has changed position
or become inverted (pushed inward
instead of sticking out)
• redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Step 4

Examine your breasts while lying down (use your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast). Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Make sure you carefully cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side—from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Breast Cancer Prevention

While no one has control over whether or not they will develop certain types of cancer, breast cancer can be prevented by taking certain steps. Regular self-exams are an indispensible tool in cancer prevention as knowing your breasts and noting changes alerts you to seek medical advice before it’s too late. Also visiting your gynecologist for an annual check-up (regardless whether you felt or detected anything) is important, as is visiting your oncologist to monitor any cysts you already have in your breasts.

Step 2
Now raise your arms and check to see if you can note any of the changes listed in Step 1.

Step 3
Now raise your arms and check to see if you can note any of the changes listed in Step 1.

Step 5

Finish your self-exam by feeling your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Again, make sure you carefully inspect your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4.

This website has been funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Roche