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Do You Know How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam?

Do You Know How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam?

Giving yourself a regular breast exam every month can help you detect any abnormalities that might need medical evaluation. It can detect signs of cancer early, so you can get treatment sooner than later to help maintain your breast health.

If you notice anything in your breasts that doesn’t feel normal, board-certified physician Dr. Emilia Murray has the expertise to address your concerns. Though most lumps or abnormalities don’t test as cancer, you should still make an appointment to see us at Murray’s Health & Wellness.

The importance of a breast self-exam

Practicing breast self-exams in combination with breast screening methods, increases your chances of early detection. Taking this simple step once a month helps you get to know the look and feel of your breasts, which allows you to detect any changes in them. 

Though a breast self-exam isn’t the most reliable way to find out if cancer is present, it can certainly clue you in that something isn’t right if you notice any changes.

For many women, their first sign of breast cancer comes with the discovery of a lump during a breast self-exam.

Steps of a breast self-exam

To perform your monthly breast self-exam, follow these simple steps:

Step 1

With your breasts exposed, stand in front of a mirror and look at your breasts. See if you notice any of the following:

Also, take note if you feel any pain or irritation.

Step 2

Raise your hands above your head and look for the same thing you looked for in Step 1. This angle can help you see your breasts from a different perspective.

Step 3

Lie on your back, take your fingertips from the opposite side of one of your breasts, and move them in a small, circular motion starting at your armpit down to below your breast where it creases at your ribcage. 

Then come across your chest and feel from your collarbone to underneath your breast crease again. Continue until you reach your cleavage, moving in up and down lines throughout the exam. Then repeat these actions on the other breast.

Step 4

While standing up, repeat Step 3. While on your feet, the shower is an easy place to do your breast self-exam.

Because your hormones can cause fluctuations in your breast tissue during your menstrual cycle, the best time to perform your self-exam is the week after your period ends when all swelling has decreased.

If you notice any abnormalities or have concerns after performing a breast self-exam, make an appointment at our Naples, Florida, office right away. We’re here for you.

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