Breast Self-Examination (BSE) is an easy and painless way to screen for breast cancer. Beginning at age 20, every woman should perform BSE monthly. This 5 minute, 16-step self exam could detect breast cancer early when it is most treatable.

  1. Every woman’s breasts are different, so you must learn what is normal for you. Any small change in the way your breast looks or feels could be an important early sign. BSE should be done about one week after your menstrual period begins. If you no longer have periods, it should be done at the same time of the month. You should begin BSE in front of a mirror undressed to the waist with your arms relaxed at your sides. Be careful to look for any skin colour changes, dimpling, or puckering of the skin or change in breast size or shape. Also look at the nipple for changes such as scaliness or pulling to one side or a change in the direction in which it points.
  1. The next step is to place your hands on your waist and press inward. By tightening these muscles, changes may be easier to see. Look for any changes as in Step 1.
  1. The third step involves placing your hands behind your head and pressing forward. Once again, look for changes as in Steps 1 and 2.
  1. Next, place your hands on your waist and allow your breasts to fall forward. Look for any change in shape or puckering.
  1. Take your hand and find your collarbone and rub your hand firmly down the breast, feeling for lumps, thickenings, or changes from previous exams
  1. Repeat Step 5 on the other breast.
  1. Next, use one hand to support breast and with the other hand press firmly, feeling for lumps, thickenings or changes.

  1. Repeat Step 7 on the other breast
  1. Next, use one hand to support breast and with the other hand press firmly, feeling for lumps, thickenings or changes.