Tips for Self Exam:
In Front Of A Mirror
Start with your hands down at your sides. Look at both of your breasts to note any changes in size or shape. Also check the color and texture of your skin. Repeat these steps with your arms in the air. Then, repeat the steps while pushing down on your hips to tighten your chest muscles. Finally, examine your breasts while bending at your waist with your hands on your hips. This will allow you to check for any dimpling on the skin.
Place a pillow under your right shoulder and raise your arm above or behind your head. Carefully inspect your right breast with the pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand, using a small, circular motion in an up and down pattern. Apply different amounts of pressure to each area of the breast. Make sure to check all areas where breast tissue may be found – from the armpit to the breastbone and from the collarbone to the bra line. Make sure you do not lift your fingers away from the skin at any time during the exercise. When you finish, lower your right arm and examine your right armpit. Repeat the steps on the left breast.
Be sure to check the underarms, the nipples and the areas above and between your breasts.
Self exams should be performed monthly around the same day. Note any changes or abnormalities. Know what your normal is!
(Information provided in partnership with the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans)