Breast Self Examination
In the era of managing health yourself there are more opportunities for you to take control of your health. Being worried and anxious about your personal health and private concerns is now replaced by being informed and well-aware of the facts. While the final opinion can be taken from an expert, there are basic findings and examinations that you can perform yourself.
Taking care of the breasts and examining them yourself is one important part of maintaining your health. It can give you an idea of any possible concern and you can accordingly talk to your physician about it. The breast self-examination can be performed yourself and with the comfort of a private environment.
Performing breast self-exam
Breast self exam should be done after the menstrual period and must be repeated at the same time during each month. The basic steps that you can follow for breast examination are:
1. Stand in front of the mirror with hands on your sides and observe both the breasts. Look for the shape, size and color. Note if you see any bulging, discoloration, dimpling, redness or anything different in the nipples. Look for any discharge or fluid oozing out of the nipples, any cracking or roughness of nipples or the surrounding area.
2. Carry out the same observations with your hands raised upwards, with hands on your hips and then while slightly bending forwards.
3. Lie down with a pillow under left shoulder and the place the left hand under your head. Use the right hand to examine the left breast. Use a firm touch while keeping fingers flat and using the finger pads and move in circular motion to feel the breasts. Begin from under the collar bone to cover the entire breast. Use light pressure in the front and deep pressure at the back of the breast. Gently squeeze the nipple and check for any discharge.
4. Carry out the same procedure for the other breast using the opposite hand.
5. Follow the feeling of breasts with hand movements in sitting or standing position. This can also be conveniently done while having a shower as the hands can be moved easily over the wet surfaces of the breasts.