Breast Examination Instruction

Three-stage Inspection:
Stand straight in front of a mirror. Know the symmetry of your breasts. Asymmetry you’re born with may be normal, so it is important to know your breast characteristics and then be able to detect any change. Changes might be a sign that something has gone wrong. On visual inspection you are looking for any change in shape, size and outline; puckering or dippling; nipple crustiness; nipple itching; nipple bleeding, nipple inversion.

Repeat inspection with arms raised overhead

Repeat inspection leaning forward.

Two-stage Palpation:
Palpation is easier to perform when skin is wet or damp, so a good time to do a self-breast examination is in the shower or bath.

(1) Use the flat, pad part of your fingers not your fingertips. With circular motion start at the nipple and feel for distinct lumps or swelling. Proceed all the way into the armpits. In the armpits also look for lumps in the armpit region that could be swollen glands.

(2) Also press the whole flat part of the palm to press the breast against the rib cage. Lumps can be detected by the palm of the hand

Self-breast examination demonstration: Look for usual size, shape and color. Look for distortion, swelling, dimpling, puckering and change in nipple shape, such as pushed in or pushed out. Also look for redness or rash.

Sixty percent of breast cancers are found in the outer quarter (doctor points lateral and superior) region of the breast.

See also:
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
MedlinePlus: Breast Cancer