According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation
, adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Frequent at-home exams allow you to get an awareness of how your breasts look and feel, so you can alert your doctor if there are any changes.
There are 3 ways you can perform a breast self-exam at home, according to the NBCF. Check out the methods and steps below.
1) In the Shower
“Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.”
2) In Front of a Mirror
“Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.
Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match — few women's breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.”
3) Lying Down
“When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.
Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.”
If you’d like more info on Breast Cancer Awareness and the 50 Shades of Pink Foundation, visit their websites at cancer.gov