Home About AllHealth Website Sitemap Contact Us
All Health 
You are here: Home > Women's Health > Cancer - Breast cancer [58.2.1] > Know your breast


Know your breast

It is important to know how to check your breasts every month as an early defence against breast cancer. Here is an easy-to-follow breast self-examination that takes no more than ten minutes.

Despite encouraging figures released recently regarding the reduction of deaths due to breast cancer screening, early detection through breast self-examination (BSE) is essential for the future health of young women in Australia.

Although mammography is still vital in reducing the number of detected cancers, the test is not as sensitive at picking up breast cancer in younger women under 40 years of age.

BSE can save your life, with early detection offering the best hope for successful treatment. The best way to regularly check yourself is to make BSE a monthly routine, ideally carried out 10 days after the start of your menstrual period.

And if you feel a lump in your breast don't be too alarmed as four out of every five lumps found are not cancerous.

Follow these simple procedures and the BSE will soon be second nature.

1. Standing in front of the mirror

Check yourself in the mirror in each of the following positions:

* arms at your sides

* arms raised above or behind head

* hands on hips with chest muscles tensed

* gently squeeze nipple for any discharge

Look for the following changes:

* in size or shape of breast

* dimpling of the skin

* change in the nipples

2. Lying down

Place pillow under right shoulder with your right hand under your head:

* Use the pads of your three fingers of left hand (hold fingers flat) to examine right breast. Don't use the tips of your fingers.

* Press firmly on breast tissues using a circular rubbing motion to feel for lumps or changes. Use gentle, concentric circular motions.

* Start from the outside circle of breast and move inward in smaller circles.

* Check the entire breast including armpit, and also behind the nipple itself.

* Repeat these steps using your right hand to examine your left breast.

3. In the shower

* Raise right arm behind head.

* Soap left hand and check right breast as described in the 'lying down' position.

* Repeat these steps using your right hand to examine your left breast.

If you discover any changes in your breast, do not allow fear to overcome you. Instead, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Remember, most breast lumps are NOT cancerous.

4. Finally, when you finish palpating each breast, remember to squeeze the nipple to examine for any abnormal discharge. See a doctor if there is a discharge, whether you find it during a BSE or not.

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


Back Email a Friend View Printable Version Bookmark This Page


eknowhow | The World's Best Websites
    Privacy Policy and Disclaimer