Hey, Pretty Girls! For today’s blog, we decided to take a slightly different approach and talk about how to do a self breast exam! Being that 1 in 8 women will develop some form of breast cancer in their lifetime, It’s never too early to start learning how to do a breast exam on yourself!
First, it’s important to know your breasts well, so take time examining them regularly. This way, if there are any changes, you’ll be much quicker to spot them. You should know the general size, any moles or beauty marks, color and size of the areola, cup size, texture (some are naturally firm while others are more spongy), etc.
Any visual changes should of course be made note of. Its best to do this in front of a mirror and/or in the shower. A quick tip for this portion of your exam: your breasts will almost never be perfectly symmetrical. They are sisters, not twins. It’s normal for them to be a slightly different size, for areolas to be uneven, for them to be shaped differently, etc. Again, this is normal! However, if you see these differences becoming more pronounced over time, discuss it with your doctor.
In the next part of your exam, use your fingers to feel for any changes in texture, new lumps or hardening, and changes in the shape, form, or direction of your nipple(s). Gently squeeze your nipples to check for any fluid coming out. Sore and swollen spots should also be made note of.
During the final part of your exam, you should be lying down on your back. Using your opposite hand (left hand for right breast, right for left), feel your breasts for any changes while using small circular motions. You should cover the full 360 degrees on the face of the breast while moving one inch at a time in a clockwise motion. Don’t forget the areas right under the collar bone, and closest to the armpit!
Remember Pretty Girls, doing this once a month can be a tremendous help! It’s always good to know exactly what’s going on with your body, and if you notice any new changes or developments, talk to your doctor immediately! Even if it turns out to be nothing, it always helps to be cautious and stay on top of things.
Stay healthy and pretty, Pretty Girls!
Raven Jahän Joyner, President of PABPG