How to do a breast self-exam:
- Stand in front of a mirror and check breasts for dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple, redness or swelling, and noticeable differences between the two breasts.
- Lie down with a pillow under your shoulders. Place your right arm behind your head.
- Use the pads of your fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps or thickening. Press firmly but not so hard as to cause pain.
- Move around your breast in a set way for each monthly exam. Choose a way and be consistent. Choose either a circular motion (A), up and down (B), or a wedge (C). Go over the entire breast area.
- Switch to left breast using right fingers to examine.
- Repeat examinations of both breasts while standing, with opposite arm above your head. This is easily done while in the shower. Wet, soapy skin can accentuate lumps and abnormalities.
If you find any abnormalities or changes from previous months call your primary care physician or the Breast Health Program at St. Mary's.
The Breast Health Program can be reached at 207-777-4445.