Specialty Centers  > Breast Center  > Education and Prevention  > Breast Self Exam 

Monthly breast self-exams along with mammography at recommended intervals are essential for early detection of breast cancer. Not sure about how to do a breast exam? Refer to the following examination guidelines. 

Step One ... in the shower


Stand in the shower and with fingers flat (use the pad of your fingers) move your hand gently over every part of each breast. Check for a lump, knot or thickening. Use right hand for left breast, left hand for right breast.







Step Two ... in front of a mirror


With your hands at your sides, visually check for lumps and depressions. Then, placing your palms on your hips, press down firmly, flex your chest muscles and check again. Don't worry if your breasts don't match.









Step Three ... in front of a mirror

Now raise your arms overhead. Look for changes in the contour of each breast as well as swelling or dimpling of the skin and changes in the nipple.








Step Four ... lying down


To examine your right breast, place a pillow or folded towel under your right shoulder and, with elbow bent, lay your right hand on your forehead. Do the same procedure for the other side. 







Step Five ... lying down

With fingers flat, use your left hand to press an imaginary clock face on your right breast. Check for lumps or depressions. A ridge of firm tissue in the lower ridge is normal. Move in an inch toward the nipple and make the same circling motion again and again until you reach the center. Repeat with right hand, left breast.







 Step Six ... lying down

Gently squeeze the nipple of each breast. Check for any unusual discharge, clear or bloody. Report any lumps, thickening or discharge you discover during this examination to your doctor immediately.