Breast Cancer Awareness: Self-Exams

Breast Cancer Awareness: Self-Exams

Every October, the nation observes Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and happens with men as well. Although you have an annual checkup including mammograms to detect cancer, you can be your own doctor. By performing a self-exam on your breasts, you can better understand how your breast is supposed to feel. Many lumps are normal and not cancer. It is important to conduct these monthly self-checkups for early detection because many times there are no visible symptoms in the early stages. Please inform your primary care physician of any changes you find so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated. Be sure to check these tips on how to self-examine.

How to perform a self breast exam:

Laying down:

• Place a pillow under the shoulder and arm for the breast that is to be examined.

• Using the opposite hand, move the pads of your fingers around the breast and armpit

• With light, medium and firm pressure, feel for any lump, hard knot, thickening or any breast changes. Squeeze the nipples and check for discharge. This can also be done standing up in front of a mirror.

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