How To Examine Your Breasts Yourself For Lumps: Breast self-exam simply means checking your breasts for changes such as lumps, ulcers, discoloration, and nipple discharge. It involves looking at your breasts for visible abnormalities and touching your breasts to feel for changes that may not be obvious to the eyes. Breast cancer has a better prognosis when found early, and the idea of breast self-exam is to detect these changes early before they get out of control. It is important to know that the presence of a breast lump does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, so don’t panic if you discover a lump.
Breast self-exam should be done at least once a month starting at age 20. Normal breast tissue has some lumps, except in postmenopausal women where the breast is made up of more fatty tissue. You should examine your breasts regularly to see how they normally feel. This makes it easy for you to detect any abnormalities. It is normal for your breasts to feel lumpy and tender during your menstrual period. This is due to the hormonal influence on your breast and will likely regress after your period.
How to self-examine your breasts
- Expose your body from the waist up and lie down with your head on a pillow.
- When examining the left breast, place the left hand on the back of the head while palpating with the right hand so that the breast tissue spreads up the chest wall. When you move to the right breast, place your right hand behind your head. This will make it easier for you to feel the breast tissue.
- Using two imaginary lines, divide your breast into four quadrants with your nipple in the center.
- Begin to feel your breast, moving quadrant by quadrant. Don’t touch your breast with your fingertips, but feel with the pads of your three middle fingers.
- Use your fingertips to gently press down on the nipple to check for any lumps under the nipple.
- Repeat the steps when examining the other breast.
The downside to breast self-exam is that you can start to feel anxious even when there is nothing to worry about.
When you discover a lump, what should you do?
If you notice a lump in your breast that was not present the last time you checked, or a lump that is larger, harder, and feels different from the other breast, you should see a doctor for further investigation. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but you can’t tell just by feeling them. It is important to see a doctor to confirm that it is a benign lump so that you can sleep better at night and not worry about cancer.
In Conclusion To How To Examine Your Breasts Yourself For Lumps
Early detection of breast lumps is key to preventing breast cancer and its complications. Regular breast self-exams will go a long way toward achieving this.
It is important that you know how your breasts normally feel so that you can easily detect if there is a change.
Once you notice any changes, go see a doctor to avoid unnecessary anxiety or start treatment early if it turns out to be a malignant lump.