In recent times the rise in breast cancer cases has given rise to breast cancer awareness. Women of all ages irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds should know how to conduct breast cancer self exam in order to look for lumps and any other occurrences that do not look normal.
Women who are over 35 and who are on the verge of menopause are more susceptible to breast cancer and should do the breast cancer self exam regularly. But women of other age groups should also be are of how to check for breast cancer. Breast exams should be done a week after your periods have ended as the breast are no longer sore, swollen or tender.
Position yourself in front of a mirror. Raise one hand and place it behind your head. Start examining your breasts with the fingers if the other hand stretched out straight. Feel for bumps, lumps, bulges or swellings as you gently examine your breasts. Also feel the underarm area that lies closest to the breast for anything that feels swollen or hard. Repeat this examination on the other breast as well.
Put both your hands on the hips and closely examine your breasts in the mirror. Look out for any changes in relation to size, shape, form and color of the skin on the breasts. Now place your hands behind your head and repeat the check.
Lie down on the bed and place a pillow under your left shoulder to prop it up. Place your left hand behind your head. Flatten out the fingers of your right hand and check the breast by applying gentle pressure in circles around the breast. Begin by pressing the outside of the breast and steadily move in the direction of the nipple. Once you have checked one breast for unusual lumps check the other breast as well in the same manner.
Do not forget to check the underarm area that lies closest to the breasts. Sit on a chair and put your arm on the table and then examine the underarm area for any alterations resulting in thickening of the area.
Any unusual changes in the breasts or the underarms should be reported immediately to your doctor who can then run some medical tests on you for breast cancer determination.