Breast Self Examination

Breast self-examination can be started at the age of twenties, it is important to learn the structure of the breast tissue and gain experience.

It is appropriate for pre-menopausal women to do it one week after the end of menstruation every month, while women who have entered menopause can do it on the same day every month, such as on the first or 15th of the month.

Breast examination should be done once a month, more frequent changes may be missed.

Breast examination is done with the crossed hands, such as the left breast with the right hand, and the right breast with the left hand.

Breast self-exam consists of 4 steps

  1. The first step is to visually examine both breast tissues in front of the mirror.

    • Noticing visible swelling

    • To see if there is a difference between the two breast tissues

    • To see dimples and depressions that may occur on the skin

    • Redness, scaling, skin thickening, orange peel appearance on the skin and seeing sores that may be on the breast skin or nipple

    • It is noticing changes in the nipples such as newly developing, inward depression or nipples looking in different directions.

  2. It is the visual examination after placing the hands on the waist, the hands are pressed to the waist, while we repeat what we did in the first step, during this examination, the examination is performed from different angles by turning to the right and left. Then both hands are lifted up and skin recessions of both breast tissues, wrinkling and depressions on the skin in one breast are investigated.

  3. It is a manual inspection,

    • Those with small breast tissue can be performed in front of a mirror, those with large breast tissue should perform this examination in a lying position.

    • He should use 3 fingers (index, middle and ring fingers) while performing the examination. The breast tissue and nipple are examined with circular movements. It is necessary to carry out the inspection by hand on the other side.

    • First, the examination is done with the arms at the side, then the arm is brought under the head and the examination is repeated.

    • The nipple should also be examined.

  4. Manual examination of the tissues around the breast

    • Examining the armpits

    • Above and below the collarbone

    • The areas below and inside the breast tissue should also be examined.

Breast self-exam is not a cancer screening, it cannot replace mammography and doctor’s examination, we do mammography and examine breast cancers before they become palpable. Self-examination is only important for detecting interval cancers, that is, cancers that develop in the period between two screening periods. And to catch women who can’t be screened for breast cancer at the earliest possible stage.

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