Updated 16 August 2019

Breast self-examination: 8 steps

This great guide will take you through eight easy steps of how to examine your breasts.

Raise your arm over your head.
Examine your right breast with your left hand.
Use a skin cream with a gentle lather to make your hand glide more smoothly over the skin.
Use light pressure when examining the breast.
Use deep pressure when examining the breast.
For pendulous breasts,
suport the breast with one hand while examining with the
After your shower or bath stand in front of a mirror
with a good light.
Look for any visual changes in your breasts
Note. the right breast is slightly larger than the left this is not uncommon.
any change in the following: size, shape, level of nipples, obvious lump, skin colour, dimpling, or tethering, change in skin of the nipple.
lift your arms abouve your head to see whether there is any dimpling or tethering of the skin.

A change in the nipple itself may be a sign of problems.
Look at it carefully to see whether there have been any changes such as inversion (nipple pulled inwards) or a discharge.
Gently squeeze the nipple a small discharge may emerge which may be:
-dark green/brown/black
-pinkish or blood stained
(if its blood stained see your doctor immediately!)

Check for lymph nodes in the armpit
on each side and also feel above the collar bone
Lie down over a folded towel or pillow.
This allows the breast to flow over the chest wall so that the breast tissue is more easily felt.

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.