How to Perform a Breast Self Exam

A Breast Self Exam (BSE) should be done monthly - no matter what your age - on the same day each month. Just a few minutes once a month may alert you to a change in your breast composition. Follow these simple steps:

1. Use the pads of your three middle fingers in a circular rubbing motion over your breast. Always use your left hand for your right breast and your right hand for your left breast.

2. Press firmly enough to feel the tissue beneath your skin.

3. Move your fingers from your neck, down under your arm, across and to the bottom of your rib cage and up the breastbone. This area is all breast tissue.

4. Check for any lumps, hard knots, swelling, dimpling or thickening.

Do you know the warning signs?

5. Perform your self-exam in front of a mirror and look for any abnormal change in shape, size, color, or discharge.

6. Exams may also be done in the shower, or lying down with your arm near the breast you are examining behind your head.

To order a self-exam shower card as a reminder to perform this monthly exam, visit