Monthly breast self exams are vital

Northeast News
October 30, 2013

Breast cancer awareness month may be nearing an end, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the importance of self exams.

The American Cancer Society recommends performing a breast self exam once a month in a standing and laying down position.

When standing in front of a mirror:

•Stand with your hands pressed firmly on your hips

•Look for any changes in your breasts, like size, contour, shape and dimpling. Also look for redness or scaliness around the nipple or on the skin.

•Raise your arms slightly to examine each underarm, but don’t raise your arms straight up since this tightens the tissue and makes it difficult to examine.

When lying down:

•Lie down on your back and place your right hand behind your head. With your left hand, use the finger pads of your three middle fingers to examine the breast tissue of your right breast. Use small, circular motions to feel the tissue and use three different levels of pressure – light, medium and firm. Repeat the process on the other breast. It’s okay if you feel a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast. However, contact your doctor if you notice any changes.

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