CanHOPE is a non-profit cancer counselling and support service provided by Parkway Cancer Centre, Singapore.

Breast Self-Examination – How To Do It

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Breast Self Examination (BSE) involves checking your own breasts regularly once a month. This helps you to be familiar with your own breasts so that you are aware of any changes earlier. If you discover any change, please consult your doctor.

How to do Breast Self Examination

Facing a mirror

At each of the following positions:

  • Arms at your sides
  • Arms raised above or behind your head
  • Hands on hips and chest muscles tensed

Look out for:

  • Any change in size or shape of the breast
  • Any dimpling of the skin
  • Any change in appearance of nipples
  • Any discharge from nipples (by squeezing gently)

Lying Down

Place pillow under left shoulder with left hand under head

  • Use middle three fingers of right hand, hold fingers flat to check left breast
  • Press firmly, using small circular movements to feel for lumps
  • Start outside edge of breast, going inwards in circles
  • Check entire breast, armpit and behind of nipple
  • Repeat these steps using left hand to check right breast

In the shower

  • Raise right arm above head
  • Soap left hand and check right breast as described in “lying down position”
  • Repeat the steps using the right hand to check left breast