How to Do a Breast Self-Exam (Infographic)
Follow our easy instructions on how to perform a monthly breast self-exam. Get to know your normal so you’ll know what’s not normal.
1. Evaluate Size and Balance
Look at your breasts in the mirror with you shoulders straight and your hands on your hips.
Note if they are:
- Usual size, shape and color
- Evenly shaped without distortion or swelling
Note any changes:
- Dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin
- Nipple that has changed position
- An inverted nipple
- Rash, or any redness, soreness, swelling or discharge
Now do the same with your arms raised.
2. Evaluate While Laying Down (or in the Shower)
- Use your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm touch with the first few fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together.
- Examine the entire breast. With your arms raised, move from top to bottom, side to side, from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow one of the two patterns below:
- Move in a circle. Begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast.
- Move vertically. Move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were moving an lawn.
If you see or feel any new changes, bring them to your doctor's attention.