Breast Self-Exam How To
How to do BSE
1. Stand in front of a mirror that is large enough for you to see your
breasts clearly. Check each breast for anything unusual. Check the skin for
puckering, dimpling, or scaliness. Look for a discharge from the nipples.
2. Watching closely in the mirror, clasp your hands behind your head and
press your hands forward.
3. Next, press your hands firmly on your hips and bend slightly toward the
mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward.
Do steps 2 and 3 to check for any change in the shape or contour of your breasts. As you do these steps, you should feel your chest muscles tighten.
4. Gently squeeze each nipple and look for a discharge.
5. The breasts are best examined while lying down because it spreads the breast tissue evenly over the chest. Lie flat on your back, with one arm over
your head and a pillow or folded towel under the shoulder. This position flattens the breast and makes it easier to check.
6. Use the pads of the fingers of your other hand to check the breast and the surrounding area firmly, carefully, and thoroughly. Some women like to use lotion or powder to help their fingers glide easily over the skin. Feel for any
unusual lump or mass under the skin. Feel the tissue by pressing your fingers in small, overlapping areas about the size of a dime. To be sure you cover the whole breast, take your time and follow a definite pattern: lines, circles, or
Some research suggests that many women do BSE more thoroughly when they use a
pattern of up-and-down lines or strips. Other women feel more comfortable with
another pattern. The important thing is to cover the whole breast and pay special attention to the area between the breast and the underarm, including the underarm itself. Check the area above the breast, up to the collarbone, and all
the way over to your shoulder. Consider using one of these patterns: