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Breast Self-Exam (cont.)

Facing a Mirror

Use the following techniques if you wish to perform breast self-examination. Choose the method that is best for you. Stand before a mirror and compare the breasts for differences in size, nipple inversion (turning in), bulging, or dimpling. Note any skin or nipple changes, such as a hard knot or nipple discharge.

Inspect your breasts in the following four steps:

  1. With your arms at your sides
  2. With your arms overhead
  3. With your hands on hips - press firmly to flex your chest muscles.
  4. Bend forward - inspect your breasts.

In these positions, your pectoral muscles are contracted, and a subtle dimpling of the skin may appear if a growing tumor has affected a ligament.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2014
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