How to Do a Breast Self-Exam
Having hit her twenties a woman must have heard from a doctor recommending her for a monthly ‘breast self-exam’. Because women ought to be cognizant of the fact that the natural shape of their breasts and feel are alike. The more you learn, the quicker you get ready to any abnormalities. This is, however, not to be much alarmed at! Transformations in your breasts or lumps do not always lead to breast cancer. Nevertheless, it’s good to learn about any irregularity well in time.
How to do that?
- Appear in front of a full size mirror big enough to fully show the upper trunk of your body. Try it in a room where daylight can easily access. Place your hands over your hips and focus on the image of your breasts —the color of the skin, undulations, size, curve, apparel; see if there are any stains? Check the coloration of your nipples.
- Lift your arms and keep your palms against the back of your head. Notice how your breasts respond to this move, if they also move about the same pattern, they are symmetrical. Lookout for troughs, lumps or indentations. Also look out for any bulging, particularly around the armpits.
- With the help of your right hand explore your left breast, while your left arm is in the original position. Move pad of your fingers clockwise across the shape gently. Continue with this in an up and down fashion, from the top zone of the breast, downwards and back again, and a circular movement originating from across the nipple and progressively leading outward. Treat all your breast flesh in the manner up to your armpit area. Repeat the same procedure at other breast. To reduce finger friction over breast perform the examination while you’re showering.
- Let your arms down. With your right hand now inspect your left breast’s nipple. Softly grip the nipple between your middle and index fingers, pull outward, and release. Notice the pattern of the bounce back, check if it recedes back to normal or there is a fluid leak out. Repeat the same procedure with your right breast nipple.
- Lie down for the last part of the manual exploration. Put a cushion beneath your right lateral in line with your right breast. With left hand and the pads of your fingers rehearse all the examination techniques you did in the third step — exploring any incongruities. Also repeat the same procedure at your left breast.
- With varying pressures try to feel contours of your breast undulating from light to medium and from medium to heavy to clearly perceive the feel beneath breast tissues.
- Be certain that your manual examination and treatment encompasses the whole of your breast. You’ll discover that you are moving beyond the precincts of breast by the moment you have either accessed the collarbone (upward), the sternum (middle) and ribs (downward to the left direction).
- If you happen to encounter any discrepancy, don’t get embarrassed — eight in ten lumps detected in breast self-exams are humble or harmless. However, on detection you ought to have a word with your physician without loss of time.
- Women going through pre-menopause are advised to conduct their breast self-exams on the day after the last day of their menstrual cycle. They are suggested to have their breasts self-examined either the first or the last day of the month or on both days possibly.
The 7 P’s
Breast self-exam can be had easier by pursuing a ‘mnemonic’ known as the 7 P’s that stands for following slogans:
Be certain that you are seeking the correct positions during a breast self-exam.
Ensure that you have treated the whole breast zone.
Palpitation and Pressure
Both terms refer to the pattern of movement that you employ when dealing with a breast self-exam; the movement is characterized by light finger pad massage without lifting your hands and putting varying degrees of pressure.
The different manipulations with your hands are collectively known as pattern.
Regular breast self-exams extended over time enables you discover natural shape of your breasts.
Remember that your strategy of action rests on the likelihood of your finding an incongruity in your breast. Learn your family’s history of cancer or breast cancer with a special focus. Ensure regular examinations and mammography tests.