How to do a breast self-examination
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.