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How to do Breast Self-Exam

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  • Lie down and put a pillow under your right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head.

  • Use the finger pods of your three middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps or thickening.

  • Your finger pads are the top third of each finger.

  • Press firmly enough to know how your breast feels. If you are not sure how hard to press, ask your health care provider. Or try to copy the way your health care provider uses the finger pads during a breast exam. Learn what your breast feels like most of the time. A firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast is normal.

  • Move around the breast in a set way. You can choose either the circle (A), the up and down line (B), or the wedge (C). Do it the same way every time. It will help you to make sure that you’ve gone over the entire breast area, and to remember how your breast feels.

  • Now examine your left breast using right hand finger pads.

  • If you find any changes, see your doctor right away.

 

For Added Safety:

  • You should also check your breasts while standing in front of a mirror right after you do your breast self exam each month. See if there are any changes in the way your breasts look: dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple, or redness or swelling.

  • You might also want to do a breast self-exam while you’re in the shower. Your soapy hands will glide over the wet skin making it easy to check how your breasts feel.

 


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