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How To Check Your Breasts For Cancer

How To Make Breast Self

How to Check for Breast Cancer [Dr. Claudia]

Make it routine. The more you examine your breasts, the more you will learn about them and the easier it will become for you to tell if something has changed. Try to get in the habit of doing a breast self-examination once a month to familiarize yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel. Examine yourself several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. If you are no longer having periods, choose a day that’s easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.

Get to know your breasts’ different neighborhoods. The upper, outer area near your armpit tends to have the most prominent lumps and bumps. The lower half of your breast can feel like a sandy or pebbly beach. The area under the nipple can feel like a collection of large grains. Another part might feel like a lumpy bowl of oatmeal.

Start a journal where you record the findings of your breast self-exams. This can be like a small map of your breasts, with notes about where you feel lumps or irregularities. Especially in the beginning, this may help you remember, from month to month, what is normal for your breasts. It is not unusual for lumps to appear at certain times of the month, but then disappear, as your body changes with the menstrual cycle .

Learn more about’s recommendations on when to begin annual mammograms.

Can I Rely On Breast Self

Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but dont panic 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

Basic Facts About Breast Health:

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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When Should I Get A Breast Exam

People with breasts should get a breast exam every 1 to 3 years from ages 25 to 39. Once you turn 40, you should get a breast exam every year, and a mammogram every 1 to 2 years. Breast exams are usually included in your regular gynecological check-ups.

Talk to your doctor if youve had breast or ovarian cancer before, or if someone related to you has had breast or ovarian cancer you may need to have more frequent breast cancer screenings.

Should I Do Breast Self

Breast Cancer Awareness with MYA

Experts used to recommend that you do breast self-exams every month. A self-exam was a specific way of feeling your breasts. But research about breast self-exams has found that they may not be that helpful, so they are no longer recommended.

Just looking at your breasts and feeling them from time to time should be good enough. The key is knowing whats normal for your breasts so youll notice any changes in how they look or feel.

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What To Look For When Checking Your Breasts

There are certain warning signals to look out for while youre doing your self-examination.

These include:

  • A change in the size and shape of your boob

  • Changes to the look and feel of your skin

  • A new lump, swelling, or bumpy area that wasnt there before

  • Discharge or fluid coming from either nipple

  • A change in nipple position

  • Crusty, scaly, or itchy skin around the nipple

  • Discomfort or new pain in one breast, particularly if it doesnt go away

Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women.

The most common signs are:

  • A change in the look or feel of the breast OR
  • A change in the look or feel of the nipple OR
  • Nipple discharge

If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider .

If you dont have a provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.

If thats not an option, call your health department, a clinic or a nearby hospital. If you have insurance, your insurance company may also have a list of providers in your area.

Learn more about finding a health care provider.

In most cases, these changes are not cancer.

One example is breast pain. Pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer, but the only way to know for sure is to get it checked.

If the change turns out to be breast cancer, its best to find it at an early stage, when the chances of survival are highest.

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When To Get Help For A Breast Lump

If you find a breast lump or notice any other signs, always see your doctor as soon as possible, says Dr Rosen. Try not to panic, as the vast majority of lumps are benign and there may be other reasons for them. Also, lumps that hurt are usually not cancerous but hormonal. Your GP will examine you and refer you to a breast cancer unit or clinic for further tests.

Self Breast Exam Tips

How To Check For Breast Cancer | Lorraine

Its best to perform your monthly self breast exam a few days after your period ends and breast swelling and tenderness has reduced. A lump associated with breast cancer is often painless, hard and immobile, although this may not always be the case depending on its location in the breast and cellular makeup. If you find a lump, dont panic most breast lumps are not cancerous. Still, be sure to consult a medical professional if you notice a breast lump or any visible abnormalities in your breasts.

Moffitt Cancer Centers breast clinic provides breast cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment and supportive care, all in one location. To visit Moffitt with or without a referral, call or complete a new patient registration form online.


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How To Check Your Breasts At Home

Follow Jennifer’s step-by-step guide below …

  • Stand in front of a mirror, topless and in a good light. And start by looking at yourself.
  • Raise your arms up above your head and down again. Youre looking to see if your breasts match.
  • The key signs to look out for are new difference in the nipple position, nipple changes, rashes, or skin pulling back.
  • Then check your breasts using your fingers. Its important to feel with the flats of your fingers rather than the tips. If you examine with your fingertips, youll find most breasts are slightly lumpy but its lumpiness rather than a lump, and thats an important difference. Youre looking for a lump, with the flats of your fingers.
  • If you do it with your arm above your head, whether reclined on a bed or in the shower, it spreads the breast out so youre not feeling through so much depth.
  • Think of the spokes of a wheel where your nipple is at the centre. Feel up and down one spoke and then move around the breast moving up and down from the nipple to the outside of the breast methodically in a circle. Dont forget behind the nipple and under the armpit.
  • Why Are Breast Exams Important

    Breast exams improve the chances of finding breast cancer early. And the earlier breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.

    Your doctor or nurse can tell whether your breasts look and feel healthy. During a breast exam, your doctor will feel for lumps and other problems, and can recommend more tests if theres anything unusual.

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    When Should You See A Doctor

    After you know what your breasts normally look and feel like, any changes should be checked by a doctor. Changes may include:

    • Any new lump. It may or may not be painful to touch.
    • Unusual thick areas.
    • Sticky or bloody discharge from your nipples.
    • Any changes in the skin of your breasts or nipples, such as puckering or dimpling.
    • An unusual increase in the size of one breast.
    • One breast unusually lower than the other.

    Remember that most breast problems or changes are caused by something other than cancer.

    Even if you choose to do breast self-examinations, talk to your doctor about having regular mammograms as well as regular breast checkups at your doctor’s office or the mammogram centre.

    Should Men Be Breast Aware Too

    How to: Self Breast Exam â Complete Women Care

    Breast cancer affects both men and women, because both men and women have breast tissue. Although it is uncommon, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too. About 1 in 700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Last year alone over 30 Australian men lost their lives to breast cancer. If you are a man, and you notice any new and unusual changes in your breasts, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible so that the changes can be examined by a health professional.

    Anyone can get breast cancer. Men and women. Young and old. Breast cancer does not discriminate.

    As everyone knows early detection makes all the differenceIve got no doubt that if Anni was diagnosed just 2 months before shed still be here Mark, NBCF Ambassador.

    Three points to remember

    • Breast awareness is recommended for women of all ages. However, it does not replace having regular mammograms and other screening tests as recommended by your doctor.
    • Women and men can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Anybody can. For both men and women, if you notice any new or unusual changes in your breasts, see your doctor without delay.
    • Most breast changes are not due to cancer, but it is important to see your doctor to be sure. When in doubt, speak to your doctor.

    Together, we can stop breast cancer

    Help stop deaths from breast cancer, we cant do it without you.

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    What If You Spot Any Changes In Your Breast

    It is important to regularly check your breasts for any changes. Breast tissue reaches all the way up to your collarbone and across to your armpit, so its vital to check these areas too.

    If you feel or see any changes in your breast you should always consult your GP.

    Charity CoppaFeel! recommends checking your breasts monthly, so you can pick up on any changes quickly.

    Breasts do change naturally as part of your monthly menstrual cycle, so you should get to know your breasts, how they feel and what changes they usually go through to know if anything is out of the ordinary.

    If youre pregnant your breasts will go through a lot of changes, and probably will never look the same.

    Be aware of any new changes, and keep checking them regularly.

    During the menopause breasts may also change size and shape, but it is still important to see your doctor over any new changes.

    If any changes or lumps need further treatment, your GP may recommend a mammogram or a biopsy.

    Charity Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! have more information and support for people who have been diagnosed, are living with or in remission from breast cancer. The NHS website also has a page dedicated to breast cancer.

    What Should You Look For

    Its not just lumps that you should be checking for. There are several other indicators of breast cancer that you can look out for too. Get in touch with your doctor if you notice one or a combination of the following changes in your breast:

    • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
    • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
    • A nipple that has changed position
    • An inverted nipple
    • Clear or bloody fluid leaking from the nipple

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    What Is A Male Breast Self

    An MBSE is a way to check your breasts for lumps and other changes. Breast cancer and other breast problems are more common in women but can occur in men. Your risk is increased if you have a family member with breast cancer or are taking certain medicines. Regular BSEs can help you know how your breasts normally look and feel. Most breast lumps or changes are not cancer, but you should always have them checked by a healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can also watch you and tell you if you are doing your MBSE correctly.

    Basic Facts About Breast Health: Breast Self Exams

    How to Check Your Breasts for Lumps – Signs Of Breast Cancer Symptoms

    All women should check their breasts for lumps, thicknesses and other changes every month. By examining your breasts regularly, you will know how your breasts normally feel. If a change should happen in your breasts, you will be able to identify it and let your doctor know.

    • Check your breasts about one week after your period. Checking your breasts in the shower can be a convenient way to get the self exam into your routine.
    • Press firmly with the pads of your fingers. Move your left hand over your right breast in a circle. Make sure to check all over and include the armpit.
    • Now check your left breast with your right hand in the same way.
    • You also should look at your breasts in a mirror. Look for any changes in how your breasts look.

    If you find any lumps, thickenings or changes, tell your doctor right away. Most breast lumps are not cancer, but you don’t know if you don’t ask. Breast cancer may be successfully treated if you find it early.

    This information was contributed by the American Cancer Society . For more information visit the the ACS website.

    The American Cancer Society believes the use of mammography, clinical breast examination and breast self-examination offers women the best opportunity for reducing the breast cancer death rate through early detection. This combined approach is clearly better than any one examination. The American Cancer Society does not recommend relying solely on any of these methods.

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    What Should I Do If I Find A Lump

    Donât panic. It could be many things other than cancer. But do check in with your doctorâs office if you notice any new breast changes, such as:

    • An area that is different from any other area on either breast
    • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that lasts through your menstrual cycle
    • A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
    • A mass or lump
    • A marble-like area under the skin
    • A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple
    • Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
    • Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple

    How To Perform A Breast Check

    Step 1 – Look

    Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

    Here’s what you should see:

    • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour
    • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

    But if you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

    • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
    • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple
    • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

    Step 2 – Raise your arms

    Look again at your breasts with your raise your arms above your head and look for the same changes.

    Step 3 – Lean forward

    Now, lean forward so that there is a pendulum affect in your breasts, look for any dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin.

    Step 4 – Fluids?

    While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples .

    Step 5 – Feel lying down

    Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast.

    Use a firm, smooth touch with the first three finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a 2p coin. Check the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

    When you’ve reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your rib cage.

    Step 6 – Feel standing or sitting

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    How Do I Do A Breast Self

    If you choose to do one, follow these steps:

    In the mirror:

  • Stand undressed from the waist up in front of a large mirror in a well-lit room. Look at your breasts. If they arenât equal in size or shape, thatâs OK! Most women’s breasts aren’t. With your arms relaxed by your sides, look for any changes in size, shape, or position, or any breast skin changes. Look for any puckering, dimpling, sores, or discoloration.
  • Check your nipples and look for any sores, peeling, or change in their direction.
  • Place your hands on your hips and press down firmly to tighten the chest muscles beneath your breasts. Turn from side to side so you can look at the outer part of your breasts.
  • Then bend forward toward the mirror. Roll your shoulders and elbows forward to tighten your chest muscles. Your breasts will fall forward. Look for any changes in their shape or contour.
  • Now, clasp your hands behind your head and press your hands forward. Again, turn from side to side to inspect your breasts’ outer portions. Remember to look at the border underneath them. You may need to lift your breasts with your hand to see it.
  • Check your nipples for discharge fluid. Place your thumb and forefinger on the tissue surrounding the nipple and pull outward toward the end of the nipple. Look for any discharge. Repeat on your other breast.
  • In the shower:

  • Check both sides for lumps or thickenings above and below your collarbone.
  • Lying down:


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