Self-Breast Exam Tips That Can Save Your Life


Going to the gynecologist once per year and getting a breast exam at your appointment is just not enough. You need to perform self-breast exams at home too to help stay ahead of breast cancer. You may not be a doctor yourself, but that doesn't mean you can't find a questionable lump and have it examined further. See below for some self-breast exam tips so you know what to look for and the proper technique.

When To Do Self-Breast Exams

Starting after the age of 20 is when you should start doing self-breast exams at home. Try to perform the exams once per month, usually after your periods have ended, and repeat them around the same time each and every month. Mammograms (more thorough screenings) should be done yearly, starting at the age of 40, or sooner depending on your medical history.

How To Perform A Breast Exam

You can perform a breast exam in your shower, laying down in bed, or standing up in front of a mirror. Either way is fine, whichever is easier for you. 

  • Shower.  Stand with your arm above your head, or holding it on your hip. Take your other hand and feel around your armpit for lumps. Feel above and below your collarbone for lumps, then feel all around your breast for lumps.
  • Laying Down. While laying down, place a pillow behind your upper back. Raise your arm up and behind your head, then feel for lumps in your armpit and breast. Use the tips of your fingers and move them in a circular motion. Press hard, but not too hard. Work around your breast, starting at the armpit and working your way all around the breast and nipple. Repeat on the other breast.
  • Standing In Front Of A Mirror. While standing in front of a mirror, either holding one arm above your head, or hand on your hip, feel around for lumps in your armpit or breasts. Tighten your chest muscles and look for dimples, lumps, skin discoloration around your breasts, or changes in the shape or direction of your nipples.

What To Look For

You are feeling for hard lumps, swelling, redness or unusual tenderness in your breasts. Also look for discharge in your nipples, or if your nipples are pressed in. These can all be warning signs of breast cancer.

If you feel a lump or notice something unusual, be sure to make an appointment right away with your gynecologist, like those at Desert Rose OBGYN PC, for further examination. Staying ahead of breast cancer by performing self-breast exams is extremely important. Talk to your gynecologist about other tips to perform a breast exam at home.


18 July 2017

Learning About Care from Gynecologists

Hi there, my name is Judy Donovan. Welcome to my website about gynecology. When I was a young adult, I did not take my health seriously. I felt that I would have years before I had to start worrying about female health concerns. Unfortunately, I did not have that much time before I started exhibiting symptoms pointing to a women’s health condition. I sought help from my local gynecologist to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. I created this website to help other women embrace the importance of preventive health care. Please feel free to come by my site daily to learn more.