How do you examine your breasts?
You can best examine your breasts by looking and feeling.
Do the test about a week after your period. Just before menstruation you can feel some swelling or nodules that disappear automatically after menstruation. If you stop menstruating (after the transition), it does not matter at what time you examine your breasts.
Do the research in a place where you feel comfortable and provide plenty of light (preferably daylight) to see better.
- Stand in front of a mirror and let your arms lean relaxed against your body.
- Take a few minutes to take a good look at your breasts.
- Usually your breasts are not the same size; look at the form.
- Pay attention to the skin (rash, redness, dents or dimples, orange skin, nodules or folds).
- Watch your nipples (color, withdrawal, damp or dry, scabs or eczema).
Then place your hands on your neck and see again if you discover a change in your breasts (in shape, skin or nipples). Do this examination, for example, while showering. A hot shower can provide extra relaxation. If you prefer to do the research lying down, you can.
- Place the left hand on your neck and place the right hand on your left breast.
- Examine your breast in 4 parts (as with a clock: between 12 and 3, between 3 and 6, between 6 and 9 and between 9 and 12). For example first the upper and lower part on the side of your breastbone; then the lower and upper part on the side of your arm.
- Make circular movements with your flat hand and move from the outer edge of your breast to the nipple.
- Also check the nipple with a circular motion and then pull the nipple off the breast. You should be able to easily pull your nipples a little forward without keeping them tight on the surface.
- If you lean forward, you can scan the breast again between both hands.
- Also feel in your armpit and check the skin fold that runs from the armpit to the breast.
- Repeat the examination for the other breast. Irregularities can always be felt in your breasts. These are the many (milk) glands that surround connective tissue. A lump that feels like a marble can be a benign cyst (this is a cavity filled with fluid). Cysts occur primarily in younger women. It is not known what causes a cyst.
- A lump feels different from the irregularities that you normally feel. It is a thickening that is stiffer or harder than the rest of your breast. The thickening feels round or irregular, like a slice or skein. Usually a lump does not hurt.