How Should I Self-Check For Breast Cancer Symptoms?

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Ideally after the age of 40, women should look out for any subtle changes to their breasts to detect breast cancer early. Women should do a self-breast examination at regular intervals to locate issues that can help their doctor in quick diagnosis and treatment. A simple 4 step process is all you need before and during taking a shower:

1: While standing keep your shoulders straight and arms on your hips (moving upper body side by side).

Check Breasts For

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Change in size, shape, and color
  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Inverted nipple or difference in shape as compared with the other.
  • Any liquid discharge (watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood) from either or both nipples.
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

2: Still standing, raise both your arms and check for the same changes as step one (moving upper body side by side).

3: Lie down on you back on a mat or bed

  • Using your right hand, feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast.
  • Keep fingers together and use the top pads of the fingers to firmly feel the breasts.
  • Use a circular motion while pressing, about the size of a quarter. Start from the nipple and move outwards in concentric circles. You can also choose to do it vertically.
  • Ensure that you cover the entire breast by following a proper pattern from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
  • Use pressure accordingly to check the top tissue, middle tissue and deep tissue (you will feel your ribcage).

4: Get into a shower and moisten your hands with soap. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 3 above.