The Five Easy Steps of a Breast Self-Exam

One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime — and many of those women will find lumps before a doctor does. The good news is that if breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is over 92 percent.

As a preventative measure, it’s best to start a monthly self-exam routine:

Step One: With your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips, look at your breasts in the mirror. Make sure that they are their usual size, shape, and color.

Step Two: Raise your arms and check for the same.

Step Three: In the shower, use your right hand to check your left breast and vice versa. With the pads of your fingers, make circular motions the size of a quarter across your entire breast.

Step Four: You should check all of the way from your collarbone to the top of the abdomen, including the armpit. Then repeat this step using your left hand to check your right breast.

Step Five: Repeat the same process while lying down and squeeze the nipple to check for discharge or lumps.

If you notice any changes or lumps, it is always best to get them evaluated by your healthcare provider. Read more about breast self-examinations.

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