How to do a Breast Self-exam (BSE)
Regularly examining your own breasts plays an important part in being vigilant and keeping an eye out for any problems early, and therefore giving yourself a chance of being treated successfully. Performing the BSE techniques routinely in combination with safe screening methods like Thermography will alert you to any physical or visual changes in your breasts. They should be done on the same day every month – at the end of your period if you are still menstruating.
There are two key techniques, the first is to LOOK and compare them to each other.
Try this in front of a mirror, in the 3 different positions:
1. Arms by your side
2. Arms above your head bending forward
3. Hands-on your hips and hunched over.
– Check for asymmetry in the shape. This may be normal for you, but doing it regularly will alert you to any sudden changes.
– Check the skin for any changes like rashes or dimpling or changes to the texture.
– Check your nipples for any swelling or change in colour or inversion. Again, compare each breast.
– Check for any visible veins and if they change size of number.
The second Key Technique is to use your hands to FEEL for any changes.
First, check the outside of your right breast.
– Lie down on your back and roll your hips and knees to the opposite side of the breast you are about to examine.
– Raise your right hand above your head on the pillow, bend your elbow.
– Your breast should be flat on your chest.
– Using the pads of your three middle fingers of your left hand (not the tips) move them in little circles.
– For each rotation, change the pressure so you can feel all the levels of your breast tissue. (light medium and heavy)
– Make each circle three times, then move on to the next area.
– Start the circles in your armpit and move down to just below the bra line.
– Don’t lift your fingers from your breast as you rotate them to make sure you feel the entire area.
– Continue in an up-and-down pattern until you reach the nipple.
Then check the inside area of your breast, towards the collar bone
– Bring your right hand down from above your head, with your upper arm at high angles to your body.
– Move towards the nipple area using the same circular method as above.
– Continue until you reach the middle of your chest.
Repeat the above instruction on your left breast