Women of all ages should perform a breast self examination once a month. The examination is easy to complete and it only takes 5 minutes. If you are going through menopause, you can perform an exam any day that you like. If you have not reached menopause yet, you should perform the examinations 3 days after your monthly period finishes. You can perform the exam in front of a mirror. Take off your top and examine your breasts. Look at the shape and size of your breasts, your nipples, and areolas. Make sure your breasts and nipples look healthy. Make sure the texture and color of your breasts have not changed. After you complete this part of the exam, you should lift your arms above your head and check to see that your breasts look the same when they move. Make sure you don’t have bumps, dimples and indentation on your areolas and nipples. There should not be any swelling in the armpit area.
When that is complete, you should lift your left arm above your head. Use your right hand and fingers and apply light pressure to the breast on the left. Stroke the breast from top to bottom. Start from the cleavage area until you reach the armpit and make sure you cover the complete area of the breast. Make sure you don’t feel bumps or lumps and note any changes in size or color. When you are finished examining the breast, you can check the other breast. You can do this part of the exam in the shower if you like.
Finally, you should lie in bed with your head and the top of your shoulders on a pillow. Place your left hand around the back of your head. Stroke your breast with your right hand and look for changes in color, texture, and size. When you are done, you can check the other side. You should perform this breast self examination at least once a month. If you notice a change or pain in the breast area, you should consult with a doctor immediately.