Breast health is a critical aspect of overall wellbeing for women, and one of the most proactive ways to maintain it is through regular self-exams and screenings. There’s no better time to discuss the significance of checking breasts and how to do it effectively, so in this blog post we’ll delve into why checks are crucial, when and how often to perform them, and what signs to look for during the process.

Why are Breast Checks Important?

Breast checks play a pivotal role in early detection of breast cancer and other abnormalities. Detecting issues early significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and recovery. By regularly examining your breasts, you become familiar with their normal appearance and can quickly identify any changes or abnormalities, such as lumps, dimpling, or changes in size or shape. Moreover, checks empower women to take charge of their health and become active participants in their well-being.

When to Perform Breast Checks:

It’s recommended that women start performing self-exams in their 20s, and continue to do so monthly. While the ideal time for a self-exam is about a week after your period starts, women who no longer have periods or have irregular cycles should choose a specific day each month to perform the exam. For those at higher risk of breast cancer due to factors like family history or genetic predisposition, it’s essential to discuss a screening schedule with a healthcare professional, which may include mammograms and other imaging tests.

How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam:

Performing a self-exam is simple and can be done in the privacy of your own home. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Stand in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Look for any changes in the size, shape, or contour of your breasts. Note any dimpling, puckering, or changes in skin texture.

2. Raise your arms above your head and observe your breasts in the mirror. Look for the same changes as before.

3. Lie down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Use your left hand to examine your right breast. Use the pads of your fingers to feel for any lumps, knots, or thickening. Move your fingers in a circular motion, covering the entire breast and armpit area.

4. Repeat the process for your left breast, using your right hand.

5. Finally, stand up and repeat steps 1 and 2 to check for any changes in your breasts while standing.

CoppaFeel also have a handy webpage guide to help. Check it out here:

What to Look for:

During a breast self-exam, be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • New lumps or masses
  • Changes in breast size or shape
  • Swelling, redness, or warmth
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Nipple discharge or changes in nipple appearance

Regular breast checks are a fundamental aspect of women’s health and well-being. By incorporating breast self-exams into your monthly routine, you can become familiar with your breasts and quickly identify any changes that may occur. Remember, early detection is key, so don’t hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional if you notice any abnormalities during your self-exams. Your proactive approach to breast health can make a significant difference in your overall wellness and quality of life.