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Breast self-exams are a simple yet powerful tool in the early detection of breast cancer. Healthcare professionals recommend that women perform self-examinations at least once a month to become familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts. By doing so, individuals are better equipped to recognize any changes or abnormalities that may warrant further investigation.
How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam:
- In Front of a Mirror:
- Begin by standing in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. Inspect your breasts for changes in size, shape, or skin texture. Look for any visible lumps, dimpling, or changes in nipple appearance.
- Raise Your Arms:
- While still in front of the mirror, raise your arms and repeat the visual inspection. Note any changes in the appearance of your breasts from different angles.
- Lying Down:
- Lie down on your back and use your right hand to feel your left breast and vice versa. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few fingers, keeping them flat and together. Use a circular motion, covering the entire breast and armpit area.
- In the Shower:
- Many women find it convenient to perform the exam in the shower using soap or shower gel. Use the same circular motion to feel for any changes or abnormalities.
- Check for Discharge:
- Pay attention to any discharge from the nipples. If you notice anything unusual, consult with a healthcare professional promptly.