A mammogram is a crucial step in diagnosing breast cancer. After physical exam of the breast, it is the single most reliable radiologic exam of the breast. Other tests may be indicated, but that can only be determined after exam and mammogram.
Remember, this self examination is not a substitute for regularly scheduled examinations by a qualified physician.
Raise one arm. With fingers flat, gently touch all areas of each breast. Feel for lumps or thickening. Use your right hand to examine your left breast and your left hand to examine your right breast.
Fingers flat, press gently in small circles, starting at the outermost top edge of your breast and spiraling toward the nipple. Examine every part of the breast. Repeat with the left.
With your arms at your sides, look carefully for changes in the size, shape and contour of each breast. Check for puckering, dimpling or changes in skin texture. Repeat with your arms raised above your head.
With your arm resting on a firm surface, use the same circular motion to examine the underarm area. This is breast tissue too.
Place a towel or pillow under your right shoulder and your right hand behind your head. Examine your right hand with your left hand.