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How to do Self-Breast Examination?
The best time to do your Breast self-examination is while having a shower. Soap your hands and body, then use the flat of your fingers and move them over the breasts step by step as indicated below:-
Step 1: Look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Observe the size, shape and colour of the breasts. Look for any deviation from normal – any visible distortion or swelling should be immediately brought to the doctor’s attention. Also, look for the following changes:-
- Dimpling or small depression on the breast
- Change in nipple position or inversion of nipple (nipple being inward instead of sticking out)
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: Raise your arms and look for the same changes. Sometimes, the changes in size and shape are more evident in this position.
Step 3: Look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, a yellow or bloody discharge). Gently squeeze the nipples to check for discharge and observe the colour of the discharge.
Step 4: Lie down and feel your breasts using 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 finger pads of your hand (ring finger, middle finger and index finger), keeping the fingers flat and together.
- Use circular motion (each motion measuring about the size of a coin) to palpate* the breasts.
- 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.
- Follow a pattern (either horizontal – side to side or vertical – up and down) to be sure that you cover the whole breast.
- Squeeze the nipples and observe if there is any discharge.
Step 5: Repeat step 4 in standing and sitting position.