Breast Self-Exam Instructions

Breast Self-Exam Instructions to Check Your Boobies

Check your boobies 6 days after your period (or on the first day of the month, if you no longer have periods).

Do it in the shower, while your body is wet and soapy. Use the pads of 3 fingers to check each breast for lumps. Move your fingers in a row pattern. Up and down all the way across one breast and then the other.

Areas to check:

  • Outside: armpit to collar bone, and below breast
  • Middle: the breast itself
  • Inside: the nipple area

Things to look for after you shower:

  • Liquid coming from nipples
  • Puckering of the skin
  • Redness or swelling
  • Change in size or shape

Three step approach:

CanCan recommends a 3-step approach to breast cancer screening, which includes, depending on a woman’s age, a combination of mammography, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams.

  • Monthly breast self-exam beginning by age 20
  • Clinical breast exam at least every 3 years beginning at age 20, and annually from age 40 on
  • Annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40

Women with a family history of breast cancer or other concerns about their personal risk should consult with a health care provider. Screening tests may need to be done more often and/or started earlier than usual.

As part of a total approach to women’s health, women should become familiar with their own bodies, play an active role in their health, and develop a close partnership with their health care providers. Remember, pay attention to your body, and if something feels new, different, or not normal to you, contact your health care provider immediately.

To learn more about ovarian cancer, click through to the Rivkin Center’s Ovarian Cancer 101 page.

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