Self Breast Exams
Hi everyone! Today we're going to talk about self breast exams. Now this is a conversational topic among experts because large research studies have been done and have found that self breast exams sometimes lead to fear, unnecessary imaging, invasive procedures like biopsies and surgeries when it's not actually needed. But other experts believe that self breast exams are a really useful tool in early detection and treatment of potential breast cancers. And I want to talk about what I believe and that is that self breast exams are huge and they are very very important. So today I am going to teach you how to do these at home.
Start your self breast exam by standing in front of a mirror and you want to look at your breasts in four different positions. First with your arms down by your side, bending forward, with your hands on your waist, and with your hands above your head. What you're looking for is to make sure that your breast are symmetrical. You also want to look for any dimpling, puckering, redness, or any fluid coming out of your nipples other than breastmilk.
Next, you want to examine your breasts while you're lying down. And you want to use your left hand to examine your right breast and your right hand to examine your left breast. Use the pads of your fingers and make small circular motions over each of your breasts. You want to begin at your nipple and slowly move in a circular outward motion until your entire breast has been checked, including your armpit.
Lastly, examine your breasts while your standing in the shower. This is really useful because a little bit of soap can make lumps easier to feel. And you want to use the same technique that I described earlier. Use the pads of your fingers to make those small circular motions over each breast beginning at your nipple and slowly moving in a circular outward motion until your entire breast has been checked. Again, not forgetting to include your armpit.
It's recommended to perform self breast exams monthly. So, your breasts are normally composed of tissue that can be lumpy and very nodular, so just because you find something doesn't mean that you should be afraid. Just talk with your provider and let them know if you found a lump, a bump, if you have any redness, maybe any nipple discharge, and just keep a very open conversation so that they can treat you effectively. And the month of October, My Local Clinic Home is going to be offering free breast exams, so come on in and we'll get you checked out!