Breast Self-Exam


Nearly 80% of most breast problems are found through self-examination – so don’t delay, learn this skill!   Breasts are pretty amazing – they changes throughout the menstrual cycle and our lives. Breast self-exams should be practiced at the same time each month. If you menstruate, do it two or three days after the end of your period, when your breasts are least likely to be tender or swollen. If you are not menstruating then pick a date on the calendar and stick to it each month.

If you find anything unusual or suspicious, or have any questions, report it to your naturopathic doctor of family immediately.


The How-To:

Breast self massage - standing

Stand before a mirror. Inspect both breasts for anything unusual, such as discharge from the nipples, rash or puckering, dimpling, or scaling of the skin.

The next two steps are designed to emphasize any changes in the shape or contour of your breasts.

Watching closely in the mirror, clasp your hands behind your head and press hands forward.

Next, press hands firmly on hips and bow slightly toward the mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward.


Raise your left arm. Use three or four fingers of your right hand to explore your left breast firmly, carefully, and thoroughly feeling for any unusual lump or mass under the skin. Beginning at the outer edge, press the flat part of your fingers in small circles, moving the circles slowly around the breast. Pay special attention to the tail of the breast – the area between the breast and armpit. Repeat this for the right breast using your left hand. Hint: Some women like to do this part of the exam in the shower. Fingers glide over soapy skin, making it easier to feel textures.

Gently squeeze each nipple and look for a discharge. If you have any unexplained discharge, inform your practitioner.

breast_self_exam supineRepeat previous steps lying flat on your back with your arm over your head and a pillow or folded towel under your shoulder.





Images courtesy of