Breast Self Examination
Know when to get your mammogram.
- Women between the ages of 20 & 39 should have a clinical breast exam (an examination performed by a trained medical professional) every three years.
- All women 20 years of age and older should do a breast self-exam every month.
- All women 40 years and older should have an annual mammogram
Facts about Breast Cancer.
- Finding breast cancer at an early stage greatly improves your chances for successful treatment. Mammograms can help detect cancer before a woman can feel a lump in a self-exam.
- Every two minutes, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer
- The chance of a women having invasive breast cancer in her life is about 1 in 8.
* Breast cancer death rates are going down due to early detection.
Breast Self-Examination (BSE) Education
Ask your health care professional to teach you the correct technique for breast self-examination.
Methods for Breast Self-Examination (BSE)
Use flat pad (not tips) of fingers to examine breast. Be thorough; examine the entire area, including lymph nodes, from your collarbone to just below your breast, and from armpits to breastbone. Use three levels of pressure: light, medium and firm.
Place a pillow under right shoulder. With right arm over your head, examine right breast with pads of fingers using your left hand. Reverse procedure for the left breast.
Before a Mirror
Look for swelling, dimpling, bulges, retractions, skin irritations and changes in moles or nipples.
In the Shower
Wet, soapy skin reduces friction and makes it easier to feel lumps.
- Take charge of your health.
- Practice routine BSE.
- Schedule periodic mammograms.
- Have your health care professional perform annual exams.