Breast self-exam, or regularly examining your breasts by yourself, can be an important way to find breast cancer early, when it’s more likely to be small and can be treated successfully. American Cancer Society stopped recommending breast self-exam as a screening tool for women with an average risk of breast cancer due to its controversial impact on survival, however, breast self-examination can be a useful and important screening tool, especially when combined with other screening methods like mammography. Breast self-exam is a convenient and no-cost screening stategy especially important for females where accessibility of mammography is difficult .

How to do a breast self-exam: Five steps for checking for breast cancer at home

Step 1: Examine Your Breasts in a Mirror With Hands on Hips

Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

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