Performing a breast self-examination (BSE) on a regular basis is an important way to detect any changes in the breasts that may indicate a problem. Here are the steps to perform a BSE:
Stand in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Look for any changes in the shape or size of your breasts, and for any puckering, dimpling, or changes in the skin. Also, look for any discharge from the nipples.
Raise your arms above your head and repeat the examination.
Lie down and place a pillow under your right shoulder. Use the fingers of your left hand to feel your right breast. Use small circular motions to cover the entire breast.
Sit up and repeat the examination on your left breast with your right hand.
Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so you can use shower gel or soap to help your fingers glide over the skin.
It’s important to examine your breasts in the same way every time, so you can detect any changes. You should also be familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel, so you can notice any changes.
It’s recommended to do breast self-examination once a month, usually around the same time in the menstrual cycle (if still menstruating). It’s best to do the examination after your period, as the breasts tend to be less tender and lumpy at this time. Women who have gone through menopause can choose any day of the month. If you notice any changes or abnormalities, consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
It’s important to note that BSE is not a substitute for professional breast examination and mammography, as it’s not always possible to detect breast cancer through self-examination. Women should have regular breast screenings as recommended by their healthcare provider.