BREAST SELF EXAMINATION
- 9 months ago
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- MY HEALTH
Breast self examination- A step by step guide
This is a do it yourself (DIY) method of examining the breast, such that you become familiar with your breasts and you can report any changes if they occur. It should be carried out 3 to 5 days after your menses, and you should repeat this every month. If you detect any changes such as a lump, inverted nipple, or a swelling, it is best not to panic but report to your doctor. Of course, the breasts of a nursing mum may be lumpy. This is normal.
The steps are as follows:
1. Stand in front of a mirror:
Begin with a visual examination of your breasts with your arms at your sides. To inspect your breasts visually, do the following:
Face forward at the mirror for any changes such as dimpling , changes in size and shape or a swelling.
Check to see if your nipples are turned in (inverted).
Inspect your breasts with your hands pressed down on your hips.
Lift your breasts to see if ridges along the bottom are symmetrical.
Place your hands behind your head and note the same features.
2. Lie down flat.With your left hand placed firmly behind your head, use the flat surface of your right palm to feel your left breast. Do this in a continuous circular motion, and end up at the areola/ nipple area.Check your armpit as well. Express the nipple for any discharge. If bloody, report to your doctor as soon as possible.
Repeat the same for the left breast.
3. In the shower. Lather your fingers and breasts with soap to help your fingers glide more smoothly over your skin and look out for any changes.
You can carry out steps 2 and 3 in the shower (without the lying down of course) with your wet hands, which would slip over the breasts easily and make the examination easier.
The more you do this, the better you become at it.
Remember that early detection and prompt treatment is the key to improved survival.