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Section II–Playing It Safe - Breast Self-Exam (BSE)

HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide

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 Section II–Playing It Safe

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Breast Self-Exam (BSE)

How To Do a BSE

Beginning at age 20, do a breast self-exam (BSE)
once a month. Do it at the same time each month to learn what is normal for
you. The best time to do a BSE is within 3 days after your period stops.

Some lumpiness or thickening in the breasts
is normal. Your “job” isn’t just to find lumps, but to notice if there are
any changes. If you have questions, ask your doctor. Don’t self-diagnose. If
you find a change in a breast, a clear or bloody nipple discharge, or a
lump, DON’T PANIC! Call your doctor or health care provider. Most lumps are
not cancer.

Do a BSE in 3 Steps

1. In front of a mirror:

Hold your arms at
your sides. Look for changes in the shape of your breasts; dimpled,
puckered, or scaly skin; or nipple changes or discharge. Raise your arms
over your head. Look for the same things.


2.

In the shower:

Lather your breasts with
soap. Raise one arm. Move the pads of your 3 middle fingers, held flat,
along the collarbone, over the entire breast (the tissue around the nipple,
too), and your underarm area. Use your right fingers for your left breast
and your left fingers for your right breast. Check for changes, lumps,
knots, etc.

3. Lying down:

Place a pillow under your right
shoulder and your right hand behind your head. Move the pads of your
left hand’s 3 middle fingers, held flat, along the collarbone and over
the entire right breast and underarm area. Massage the colored tissue
around the nipple. Squeeze the nipple gently. Check for a clear or
bloody discharge. Repeat all of these steps for the left breast.

For Information, Contact:

The National Cancer Institute
800.4.CANCER (422-6237)
www.cancer.gov


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6th edition. American Institute for Preventive Medicine
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December 08, 2005