Performing your own breast exams is pretty high on the awkward list for most women, so many either forget or just avoid them. However, doing a monthly breast self-exam (BSE) is actually really important.
In fact, the month of February is called “National Self-Check Month” to help raise awareness of the importance of regular self exams for both men and women.
Breast self-exams only take a few minutes and aren’t hard at all.
Here are five tips to make a breast self-exam easy:
1. Same timing every month.
It’s a good idea to pick one time of month and do your BSE every month at the same time. Just don’t do it during your menstrual cycle – sometimes there are more lumps and bumps during your period that can cause unnecessary worry.
2. Lay down.
Laying down helps the tissue spread out more and makes it easier to feel for any abnormalities.
3. Pick a motion.
You can move your fingers in circles or up and down or in a wedge pattern, but stick with the same motion across your entire breast to avoid missing any spots.
4. Put a towel under your shoulder.
This helps to level out your breast and provide more support as you perform your BSE.
5. Don’t rush through it.
It may feel awkward, but take your time and don’t rush, or you may end up missing something important.
Don’t forget to schedule your yearly well-woman exam and mammogram as these are necessary for your breast health and early detection too.