Breast Self-Examination – What You Need To Know

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Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. They undergo changes throughout your lifetime. Menstruation, pregnancy, ageing and weight changes may alter the shape, size and feel of your breasts. Most changes are harmless, but these changes may become unusual. If in doubt, check with a doctor.

 

Why Do Breast Self-Examination?

Examining your own breasts helps you to understand your breasts, allowing you to detect changes in the way your breasts look and feel.

 

Who Should Do It?

All women, young or old, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or those who have implants. Men should do it as well.

 

How To Do It?

LOOK

Look for changes in size, shape, colour and texture of your skin and nipple

Arms at your side                       Hands on your hips              Arms raised above the head

 

 

FEEL

Feel your breasts while lying down and / or while in the shower

To check the left breast, raise your left arm and use your right hand fingertips to make small circular motions

Use gentle, firm pressure. Make sure to cover the entire breast and underarm in systematic way. Feel for changes and unusual lumps.

Gently squeeze the nipple and watch for any discharge. Repeat the examination for your right breast.

 

What Changes In My Breasts Should Concern Me?

  • A lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area
  • Wrinkling or dimpling of the skin or nipple
  • Redness or scaling of the skin or nipple
  • A nipple that turns inward
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Changes in size or shape of the breast
  • Pain or tenderness that does not go away

 

I Detected Unusual Changes, What Should I Do?

Do not panic – most breast lumps are not cancerous

Make an appointment with a Consultant Breast Surgeon or Oncologist

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