Health for Her
Who should do BSE?
Breast Cancer does not discriminate and has
been known to affect even very young women.
All women should begin practising BSE from
an early age and ensure that it is a regular habit by the
age of 25, especially if there is a family history of
breast cancer. It is however, more common to find
abnormalities over the age of 35.
You should continue to do BSE throughout
your life, as there is more risk of getting breast cancer
as you get older.
When should I check my breasts?
Check your breasts once every month.
BSE should be practised at the same time
every month. The best time is a couple of days after the
end of your period, when your breasts are less tender or
If you no longer have periods choose a
particular day such as the first day of each month to
A Guide to Breast Self Examination (BSE)
By doing BSE, you get to know how your breasts
look and feel so you can see any changes that may appear. BSE
is one way you can do something about your own health.
LOOK IN THE MIRROR
Undress to the waist. Stand in front
of a mirror in good light. Get to know what your
breasts usually look like so you can then see any
changes that may appear.
What do I look for?
Changes in the size and shape of
Any dimpling or puckering of the
Anything different about the
Raise your arms above your head and
look carefully for any changes.
If you put your hands on your hips and
tighten your chest muscles, you can look carefully for
HOW TO CHECK YOUR BREASTS
Use the flat part of your fingers, not
your fingertips, to feel each part of your breast.
At each part you feel, circle firmly
with the flat of your hand.
Check the whole area of the breast
as shown in the picture to the right
Imagine a clock face on your breast.
Begin at the midnight position at the outside edges of
your breast and slowly circle inward. Cover the whole
breast area, finishing with your nipple. Check your
nipple. Behind your nipple there should be a little
hollow. Then check right up into your armpit.
Feel your breasts
If you have smaller breasts you may
find it easier to check them in the shower or standing
in front of a mirror.
If you have larger breasts you might
find it easier to lie down to check them.
In the shower or standing in front
of the mirror
To check your right breast, put your
right hand behind your head. Use your left hand to
check your right breast. Now put your other hand
behind your head and check your other breast in the
What do I check for?
Lumps, even if they are painless
Thickening in your breast.
Any discharge from your nipple.
Any other changes.
To check your right breast, lie down and
put a small pillow under your right shoulder. Put your
right hand behind your head. Use your left hand to check
your right breast.
This position flattens your breast and
makes it easier to feel any changes.
Now put your other hand behind your
head. Put the pillow or towel under your other
shoulder, and check your other breast in the same way.
If you find a lump or changes in your breast.
It is normal to be concerned if you find lumps
or changes in your breasts.
If you notice any changes you should see your
doctor straight away. It is far better to have any changes
checked than ignore something that might be cancer. Your
doctor can reassure you that everything is all right, or refer
you to a specialist for further tests.
Your doctor or women's health nurse can give
you more information about BSE.
Ayurvedic Supplement :
From age 25, or earlier if you have a
family history, check your breasts once a month.
If you are aged 40 or over, also see your
doctor once a year for a breast examination.
If you are 50 or over, also have a
screening mammogram (breast x-ray) every two years. Call
Breast Screen on 13 20 50 to arrange an
appointment for a free screening mammogram.
See your doctor immediately if you notice
any changes in your breasts.
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