Nobody likes the C-word. It’s scary, stressful, and not something we want to think about. However, it’s a good idea to know how to self-examine yourself for breast cancer because it is something that could happen to anyone. We feel as though it’s better to be safe than sorry, and having a heads-up sooner than later can make a huge difference in the end results.
Giving yourself a breast exam at home is a way for you to check your ladies for any changes like lumps or thickenings. You’ll take a look at each breast and feel them for anything unusual. If, by chance, you notice something unusual or concerning, reach out to your doctor. In many situations, the changes we notice aren’t cancer, but you won’t know unless you find out.
How To Do A Breast Self-Exam
Before you begin examining your breasts, we suggest doing a little research into what they should look and feel like, as well as the natural changes that occur. It’s always best to know what should or shouldn’t cause alarm. Why work yourself up?
There are a few different ways to self-exam for breast cancer.
- Remove your clothing from the waist up and stand in front of a large mirror. The room should be well-lit. Look over each breast individually. If by chance you notice that they aren’t the same size, that’s OK, most women don’t have equal sized breasts. Relax your arms at your sides, you’ll want to look for any changes in shape, size, positioning, or skin changes on and around the breasts. Keep an eye out for dimpling, discoloration, puckering, and/or sores.
- Check your nipples for any peeling, sores, or any change in their direction.
- Now, place your hands on your hips and press down firmly so your chest muscles beneath your breasts tighten. Turn from one side to the other to get a loon at the outer part of your breasts with the chest muscles tightened.
- Bend forward toward your mirror and roll your shoulders and elbows forward, which tightens the chest muscles. Your breasts will fall forward, and you can look for any changes in their contour or shape.
- Clasp your hands behind your back, press your hands forward, and turn from side to side. Don’t forget to look at the border underneath your boobs. You might have to lift your breasts up with your hand to see that area.
- Check your nipples for any fluid discharging. Place your thumb and pointer finger on the tissue surrounding your nipple and pull outward toward the tip of the nipple. It’s similar to milking. Look for any signs of discharge. Don’t forget to check both nipples.
The other two ways to self-examine your breasts are in the shower and lying down. Remember, you’ll want to self-examine your breasts every month, and it’s best to test after your menstrual cycle.