Current guidelines have negated the need for monthly breast self-exams. However, we think it is essential that you know what is going on in your body so you are aware of what your baseline is should you notice any changes.
HOT TIP: It is important to conduct these assessments at the same time every month, we recommend about 1 week after your period has started.
We primarily want you to keep an eye out for any breast changes at all. However, notable findings related to breast cancer can easily be referred to on this lemon graphic from knowyourlemons.com
SOOO what do you do?
Put your arms up and look at your breasts straight on in the mirror. Note: size, shape, and skin color.
Look for swelling or distortion, dimpling, or bulging. Assess your nipples: what are their positions? Are they inverted? Is there any rash, sores, or swelling?
Is anything leaking from your nipple that shouldn’t be (i.e. if you are not pregnant/breastfeeding) watery, milky, yellow or bloody drainage can be a sign that we need to check-in with our primary care provider! When in doubt, check in with your provider to confirm things are a-ok.
Laying down, you can feel your breasts with the opposite-sided hand in a circular motion from the nipple outward. Progress in a clockwise motion around until you reach the outside of your breast.
Feel around in and outside your armpits as well as all the way up to just under your collar bone.
Use the finger pads of your three middle fingers and first apply light pressure.
Once you have completed the assessment repeat twice more with medium and hard pressure to feel different depths of your breast.
Now that wasn't so hard was it?!
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