Check Yourself, Protect Yourself.
At Marshall Health, we recommend you conduct monthly breast self-exams and report concerns or changes, such as dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin, a nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple, redness, soreness, rash or swelling, to your doctor.
- Identify changes in your breasts by looking at them in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
- Raise your arms and look for the same changes.
- While at the mirror, look for signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples, such as a watery, milky or yellow fluid or blood.
- Feel your breasts while lying down. Use your right hand to feel your left breast and your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. You should cover the entire breast—from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. Begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. Move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows.
- Feel your breasts while standing or sitting. Many women find it easiest to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.
This information is based on “How to Do a Breast Self-Exam: The Five Steps.” Breastcancer.org, 19 Feb. 2018, www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps.