Breast Self Exam

Breast health starts with breast awareness. Becoming familiar with how your breasts normally feel and look like can help you better detect any lumps or changes if they occur.

The following are guidelines on how to do a Breast Self Exam. A Breast Self Exam should not be a substitute for periodic examinations by your physician. If you have questions about how to do your Breast Self Exam after reviewing this information, please call one of our Cancer Care Nurse Navigators.

If you feel any changes in your breasts, consult your physician.

Checking your Breasts In the Shower

Breast Exam Step 1Raise one arm. With fingers flat, touch every part of each breast, gently feeling for a lump or thickening.

Use your right hand to examine your left breast and your left hand for your right breast.

Checking your Breasts Before a Mirror

Breast Exam Step 2With arms at your sides, then raised above your head, look carefully for changes in the size, shape, and contour of each breast.

Look for puckering, dimpling, or changes in skin texture. Gently squeeze both nipples and look for discharge.

Checking your Breasts Lying Down

Breast Exam Step 3Place a towel or pillow under your right shoulder and your right hand behind your head.

Examine your right breast with your left hand.

Breast Exam Step 4Fingers flat, press gently in small circles, starting at the outermost top edge of your breast and spiraling in toward the nipple.

Examine every part of the breast. Repeat with left breast.

Breast Exam Step 5With your arm resting on a firm surface, use the same circular motion to examine the underarm area.

This is breast tissue, too.