Steps to Breast Self-Examination
Below are instructions on how to perform a breast self-exam. You should
check for any change in the normal look or feel of your breasts on a monthly
basis. A good way to remember to do this is to check just as your period
ends or on the date of your birthday. Report any changes to your doctor.
A self-exam should be in addition to your annual breast exam from your doctor.
Step 1: Lying Down
- Lie down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder
- Use the pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to check your
- Press using light, medium and firm pressure in a circle without lifting
your fingers off the skin
- Follow an up and down pattern
- Feel for changes in your breast, above and below your collarbone and in
- Repeat on your left breast using your right hand
These steps may be repeated while bathing or showering using soapy hands.
Step 2: In Front of the Mirror
Look for any changes from normal. Inspect your breasts in four steps:
- Hold arms at your side
- Hold arms over your head
- Press your hands on your hips and tighten your chest muscles
- Bend forward with your hands on your hips
If you would like a
free Breast Self-Examination shower card, please contact the Breast Care Center at
Images provided by
American Cancer Society.