- ASCO recommends breast self-examination every month from the age of 20 years and over.
- The self-examination must be performed 7–8 days after menstruation (approximately 3 days after the last day of your period).
- For women that do not have period it must be performed on a fixed day of the month.
First check the entire breast with a small pressure and repeat the same procedure with a little higher pressure, so that you can examine deeper points of your breast.
Begin the self-examination of your breast in front of a mirror. Stand with your palms touching your hips (the sides of your pelvis) and your shoulders being straight. First examine visually your breast regarding its size, shape and color.
Next you will have to lift your arms behind your head and push your breast forward.
Place your hands at the height of your hips and lean a little toward the mirror, pushing your elbows and shoulders to the front.
Press every nipple gently with your thumb and index finger and check if there is any pain or exit of a fluid (milky-white, purulent-yellow or bloody-red) from one of them.
Raise your right arm behind your head and with 3-4 fingers of the left hand begin to palpate your right breast pressing its flat points.
Lie down with one hand above your head and with a small pillow under the shoulder and palpate. At this position the examination of the breast is better and easier.
You must inform your physician if you notice:
- Swelling, bulge or crease in the skin,
- Skin like “orange peel”,
- Nipple intrusion (nipple “pulled” to the inside, instead of the outside),
- Edema (swelling),
- Exit of blood or of a fluid of other color from the nipple,
- Veins that are visible under the skin.