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Want advice on breast cancer screening? If you are over 20 years old, it is time to get in touch with your breasts. Once a month, you should perform a breast self-exam (BSE) to check for anything new or different. If you are still menstruating, get in the habit of performing a BSE in the shower on the first day of every period. Otherwise, pick a day each month for your BSE. To perform the BSE exam, lift one arm, putting your hand behind your head. With the other hand, keep your fingers flat and move them around your breast from the nipple outward in small circular motions, feeling for any lumps, hard knots, or areas that seem dense or thickened. Feel all the way to the side of your breast, into your underarm. Repeat on the other side. When you get out of the shower, examine your breasts in the mirror, first with your arms at your sides, then with your arms raised over your head. Look for areas of dimpling or swelling, or any changes to the nipple. Should you find anything unusual about your breasts, call your doctor. Chances are it is nothing, but you will not know until you ask.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|