How to do breast self-examination in 5 steps


Step 1

Start by analyzing your breasts in front of the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. This is what you should look at carefully:

  • If the size, shape and color of your breasts are common.

  • If the breasts are uniform, with no visible distortion or swelling.

If you notice any of the following changes, report them to your doctor:

  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin.

  • A nipple that has shifted position or an inverted (pushed inward) nipple.

  • Redness, soreness, rash or swelling.

Step 2

Raise your arms and look for the same signs as Step 1.

Step 3

Stand in front of the mirror and look for any signs of fluid coming from one or both nipples (may be a watery, milky, yellow fluid or may have traces of blood).

Step 4

During this step, palpate your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to touch your left breast and then your left hand to touch your right breast. The motion should be circular, and the touch should be firm and gentle, using the first fingers of your hand, which should be kept straight and closed. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side, from the collarbone to the upper abdomen and from the armpit to the cleavage.

Follow an orderly motion to make sure you cover your entire breast. You can start at the nipple, moving your fingers in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically. This up and down direction seems to work best for most women.

Be sure to feel all of the tissue, from the front to the back of your breasts. For the skin and tissue under the breasts, apply light pressure. Use medium pressure for the tissue in the middle of the breasts and firm pressure for the tissue deep in the back. When you have reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel as if you are touching your rib cage.

Step 5

The last step of the breast self-exam involves touching your breasts while standing or sitting in a chair. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to perform this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast using the same hand motions described in Step 4.

It's up to you - don't let your breast self-exam pass you by! 

Chequeo de mama