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Added August 01, 2013

Doing a Breast Exam By Yourself

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One way you can play a part in your own health is by doing a monthly breast exam. Although your doctor will do a full breast exam at your annual visit, doing your own monthly breast exam will make you very aware of any changes in your breasts. We recommend that girls in their late teens or early twenties start examining their breasts once a month.

 

The purpose of this breast exam is to look for lumps that may be cancerous. Now don't freak out! This sounds a lot scarier than it is, because the fact is, most lumps found in the breasts are not cancerous. And breast cancer is really rare in teenagers and women in their twentiesso right now you're pretty low risk.

 

Why do a breast exam?

Well first of all, by making this a habit now you'll get to know your breasts better than anyone. So if anything unusual develops, you'll know right away.

 

Many teens and women are afraid to examine their breasts because they're afraid they might find something or because they may not understand what they're feeling for. But if you know what you're looking for and understand the importance of why you're doing it, the exam will be easier.

 

When should you do it?

The monthly breast exam should be done after your period so there's less tenderness and swelling. After a few months of checking, you'll become the expert on your breasts. It's a good idea to go through the breast exam with your doctor to make sure you're doing it right. And remember, if you feel a lump or something abnormal, don't wait for it to go away. Consult your doctor immediately.

 

Breast exam steps

 

STEP 1Check them out

Turn on a bright light. Standing naked from the waist up in front of a mirror, just look at your breasts. Do you notice anything that has changed like an inverted nipple, dimpled areas or rashes on the skin?

 

Next, put your hands on your hips and push down with your arms while pushing your chest out. Do you see anything unusual? The breasts should look the same without any unusual dimpling or puckering.

 

Squeeze each nipple gently to check for discharge. A clear discharge is normal. If the discharge is tinged with blood, contact your doctor.

 

STEP 2Let your fingers do the walking

Lie down on your back (flat) with a pillow under your left shoulder and your left arm under your head. Imagine your breast is the face of a clock, with circles drawn on itone inside the other (kind of like a spiral, or the rings around Saturn.)

 

With your RIGHT hand begin the examination at the 12:00 position, on the outermost (largest) "ring" of your breast. "Walk" your fingers, clock-wise, all around that outer circle until you get back to the top. Then move your fingers in about an inch toward your nipple, and do the same thing around the next, smaller "ring".

 

Continue this way until you've examined all the breast tissue and the nipple area as well. Don't forget to probe a bit more by making more gentle circles under your armpit, because breast tissue extends up and under the armpit. Also, if you have larger breasts, you may have to use both light and heavy pressure during your examination to make sure you have checked all of your breast tissue.

 

Switch sides

Now switch sides. Put the pillow under your right shoulder, put you right hand behind your head, and start feeling your right breast with the fingers of your left hand.

 

You're finished 

That's it! These steps are all you need to do. Your breast exam work will be backed up by exams at the doctor's office each year. In the meantime, report any changes in your breasts or any concerns that you have to your doctor so he/she can follow up with futher testing.

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18
comments so far
Yasmin214
Yasmin214
Posted September 07, 2014
Hmmm, sounds complicated... Don't know if i will do it right!
binja
binja
Posted July 04, 2013
i need a bra to make my boobs small!
chocoholic1265
chocoholic1265
Posted January 24, 2013
parisgirl249 I think it's better to see a doctor
ParisGirl249
ParisGirl249
Posted June 18, 2012
What do you think is better doing it yoour self or getting a doctor!
jellyebeangirl
jellyebeangirl
Posted July 21, 2012
i had help from my sister to find wht size but i started earlyish so i got a training bra but then now i have regular one now but it is only an a cup that is way smaller than a c
AC3DLvr
AC3DLvr
Posted August 28, 2012
wow i have never done that before, i should try it!
loverose32
loverose32
Posted April 23, 2012
i have never heard of this in my life!
thekcs
thekcs
Posted April 02, 2012
I did not know you had to do this!!!
Sophiagurl!!!
Sophiagurl!!!
Posted April 07, 2012
I had no clue that you should do it yourself!!!
icystarshine1
icystarshine1
Posted April 23, 2012
It makes sense to do your own breast check, would you rather have someone else's grabby hands touching your breasts? Now THAT'S disgusting. Besides, it's your own body so you shouldn't be disgusted.
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