How to do a breast self-ex­am­i­na­tion

Health & Nutrition - - SPECIAL REPORT -

There are three steps in do­ing a breast self-ex­am­i­na­tion. Do all three of these each time you ex­am­ine your breasts: Vis­ually in­spect your breasts in front of a mir­ror. Ex­am­ine your breasts with the pads of your fin­gers – not your fin­ger­tips – in the shower or bath. Ex­am­ine your breasts with the pads of your fin­gers while ly­ing down. If you’re pre-menopausal, ex­am­ine your breasts five to seven days af­ter the start of your men­strual flow when breasts are less ten­der or swollen. If you’re no longer men­stru­at­ing, choose one day of the month to ex­am­ine your breasts. For ex­am­ple, ex­am­ine them on the first day of each month. If you no­tice any changes in your breasts dur­ing your monthly self-exam, no­tify your physi­cian.

Fa­mil­iar­ity makes it eas­ier for you to no­tice changes, which may in­clude:

Lumps or thick­en­ing in the breast or un­der the arm. Changes in the breast skin, such as dim­pling or a red dis­col­oration. Changes in or around the nip­ple, such as dis­charge, in­ver­sion or any scal­ing, thick­en­ing or dis­col­oration or the skin. Any changes in the size or shape of the breast. If you no­tice a change in your breasts, see your physi­cian as soon as pos­si­ble. That ad­vice holds true even if you’re a man. Most breast changes aren’t can­cer. But if it is can­cer, the ear­lier you find a change and have it treated, the bet­ter your chances – whether you’re a man or a woman.

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