How To Self Check

You know your body better than anyone else.
Know what’s normal for you, so you can detect the slightest abnormality immediately.

Monthly breast self-examination (BSE) includes both looking and feeling over the entire breast and chest area. The steps can be performed in any order, but each step is important. Women should use the pads, not the tips, of the three middle fingers when performing BSE. The time required to perform the exam varies with the size and features of a woman’s breasts, but usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes each month.

Women should be sure to examine the breasts in the same manner each month, check the entire breast and armpit area, and remember how the breasts feel from month to month. Some women prefer to keep a small diary of their monthly breast self-examinations.

self-exam-3

When to Examine

Women who are menstruating should perform a breast self-examination from a few days to about a week after menstruation (period) has ended, when breasts are usually less tender or swollen.

Women who are no longer menstruating should do their BSE on the same day every month.

Try to pick a day that is easy to remember, such as the first or fifteenth of every month, and make that the day each month for a breast self-examination.

Self-Exam Procedure

1.

Raise your arms in front of a mirror and examine for irritation, swelling or discharge.

LemonIllustrations_FINAL-01

2.

Next, feel and explore your breast area within the boundaries connecting armpit, rib, collarbone area and shoulder for lumps.

LemonIllustrations_FINAL-13

2A. Use the pads of your pointing finger, middle finger and ring finger to feel and check your breast. Use the following patterns below to check.

LemonIllustrations_FINAL-04

2B. Draw three coin-sized circles in one spot, applying different pressure each time: light, medium and deep.

lemon-illus-2c2

2C. Use the pads of your pointing finger, middle finger and ring finger to feel and check your breast. Use the following patterns below to check.

LemonIllustrations_FINAL-14

C-1. When moving downwards, move your ring finger one space over and have your other fingers follow.

lemon-illus-2c-2

C-2. When moving upwards, move your pointing finger one space over and have your other fingers follow.

lemon-illus-2c-1

C-3. Move horizontally by moving your middle finger one joint over.

lemon-illus-2c-3

3.

You can lie down with one arm tucked behind your head, or you can self-examine while taking a bath or shower. Check your breast every month with whichever method you find easiest.

LemonIllustrations_FINAL-03

If you any changes or abnormalities, contact your doctor immediately. Some abnormalities cannot be detected by touch alone; therefore it is recommended that women receive a mammography once a year.

The Lemon Project

What can a lemon teach you about breast cancer?

Outreach Programs

Free-of-charge support services

Partners