It has become extremely commonplace to hear beautifully dressed women and bespeckled ‘experts’ telling us over television that women spend all their lives taking care of others but hardly do they pay attention to their own selves, which leads to them being victims of diseases like breast cancer. Most of the times, we change the channel when such programmes are aired. It is this very neglect that causes us to become all the more uncaring towards our own bodies – which are the only things that will support us throughout life. Either too busy at office or too busy at home, we women don’t take the time out to go to the doctor to get ourselves checked for anything that we might find abnormal about our bodies. What if someone came up with a self-examination that women could perform at home to check for irregularities. Well then, here it is. Read on to know how to perform breast exam at home.
Performing Breast Self Examination At Home
Here are ways in which you can perform breast self-exam:
- To begin with, lie down on the bed and place your right arm under your head to support it. This examination will require you to lie down while there may be others that require you to stand in front of the mirror. The reason for this is the fact that when one lies down, the breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall making itself as thin as can be, which in turn makes it much easier to feel the whole of the breast tissue
- You should put to use the finger pads of the index, middle and the ring fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Make overlapping circular motions, the size of a rupee coin, with the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.
- You must understand that you will need three different levels of pressure to feel the whole of the breast tissue. Apply light pressure to feel the tissue closest to the skin; increase the pressure slightly to feel a little deeper; apply firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs. It is perfectly all right if you feel a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast, but should you feel anything else out of the ordinary; your doctor should be informed of it as early as possible. In case you're not sure how hard to press, your doctor or nurse will be able to guide you. Use each pressure level to feel the breast tissue before moving on to the next spot.
- With your left hand, move around the breast in an up and down, almost circular pattern; you could begin from an imaginary line drawn straight down your side from the underarm and moving across the breast to somewhere in the middle in the chest bone . You must very carefully check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collarbone.
- Repeat the exam on your left breast, putting your left arm behind your head and using the finger pads of your right hand to do the exam.
In Front Of The Mirror
- To begin with stand naked in front of a mirror. Carefully examine your breast and look out for any changes such as puckering, changes in size or shape, dimpling, or changes in the texture of the skin.
- The next thing to examine is your nipples. Carefully see if there are any changes in the shape or texture of your nipples. Gently squeeze each nipple to see if there is any discharge from them.