How to do a Self Breast Exam

1 out of every 8 women will get Breast Cancer in their lives so it is very important to take the time out for yourself and do a Self Breast Exam.

These exams are easy and can be performed anywhere

It is important while doing a Self Breast Exam to both visually and manually inspect the breast.

To perform a Self Breast Exam:

Step 1: Start by looking in a mirror and placing your hands on your hips.  Examine each breast for changes in size, shape, color, lumps, swelling, dimples, a nipple that has changed position or has become inverted.

Step 2:  Next, raise both your arms over your head and look for the same changes.

Step 3: Keep your arms over your head and bring your hands behind your back.  The movement of your nipples should be synchronized.

Step 4:  Next, lie on your back with one arm behind your head.  Use your right hand to feel your left breast and your left hand to feel your right breast.  Start with your armpits (people always forget your breast tissue starts up there!) and use a firm smooth touch with the first few fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together.  (Be sure to not lift them!)

It helps to use massage oil.

Step 5:  Make little bitty circles about half inch in diameter with your fingertips while you make a great big circle around the entire breast.

Step 6:  Checking Nipple Discharge- start this by placing your fingers about three inches away from the nipple.  Press down and move the fingers toward the nipple.  Repeat this for all four quadrants of the breast.  Gently squeeze each nipple between your finger and thumb and check for discharge

Step 7:  Lastly, feel your breasts (as taught in step 4) while you are sitting or standing ( I like to do this in the shower!)

**It is important to always start in the same place each time!

And Remember- this is an act of love.  Take your time and don’t rush!  If you find something you are suspicious about get a thermography exam or contact your doctor.  Don’t be scared to take that next step.

Early Detection Saves Lives.

Be Well,

Tammy Kohlschmidt RDH, CCT, CBP

(( These Self Breast Exam Steps are from a lovely Book, Breast Wisdom, by Dr. Ben Johnson (who is a thermography reader for Thermography for Health NY!) and Kathleen Barnes.  To read up on Health Breast check it out! ))

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