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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 right breast
  • 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 your armpit
  • Repeat on your left breast using your right hand

These steps may be repeated while bathing or showering using soapy hands.

breast self examinationbreast self examination

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 956-323-1700.

Images provided by American Cancer Society.