How to do a breast self- examination

Monday, October 15, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


EVERY woman should know how to perform a breast self-exam (BSE), as this is key to spotting changes in the breasts. Before you start, though, it is important that you know how your breasts normally look and feel, so you can easily detect changes.

You don't have to have a fixed schedule to do your BSE, but it is good to practise doing it regularly, at least once per month. The more you do it, the more aware you will be of your breasts, and it will be much easier to spot if there are any changes. The best time to do your BSE is when your breasts are not tender or swollen, such as a few days after your period ends.

If you happen to feel a lump, don't immediately think that it's the end of the world. Some women have lumpy areas in their breasts all the time. Not every lump is cancerous, but to be on the safe side, bring it to your doctor's attention.

Here are four steps to doing your BSE.

Step 1: In front of a mirror

Get in front of a mirror. Look at your breasts with your arms at your sides, so you know how they look. Raise your arms over your head, and look for swelling, dimpling, or nipple changes. Next, put your arms akimbo, flex your chest muscles, and again look for dimpling or changes in the breasts.

Step 2: In the shower

In the shower, raise one arm above your head and use the pad of your three middle fingers to gently apply pressure to your breast. Rotate the fingers over your breast and armpit area, feeling for any lumps, thickening or hard knots. Increase the pressure to feel a little deeper for the tissue closest to the chest.

Step 3: Lying down

This is probably the best method to check for changes, as the breast tissue spreads out evenly when you're lying down. Put a pillow under one shoulder with that arm beneath your head. Use the fingers of the other arm in a rotating motion to check the breast and the armpit. Squeeze the nipple and check for lumps and discharge. Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collarbone.

Step 4

Conducting a BSE is not effective unless you know just what you are looking for. Any signs of the following are red flags and a doctor should immediately be consulted:

•Dimpling

•Bulging of the skin

•Inverted nipple – pushed inward instead of sticking out

•Redness, soreness, rash or swelling

•Any signs of fluid be it watery, milky or bloody.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT