How to Give Yourself a Breast Exam

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Learn how to properly inspect your girls—sans the stress. 

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness month and there’s one thing all women can agree on: the better you know your girls, the more likely that you'll be able to notice if something out-of-the-ordinary—and potentially dangerous—pops up.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African American women, and while breast self-exams can feel like a stressful search-and-destroy mission if you haven't done a ton of them, they can also be a great tool for keeping tabs on your breast health. Once you get comfortable with the process of course and here’s how, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

In the shower:
Tap around the entire breast in a circular motion from outside to center. Repeat on the other side, checking armpit area, too. If you notice any changes, lumps or knots, see your doc. 

In the mirror:
Check both breasts, raising your arms overhead, looking for any changes, swelling or dimpling. Next, put hands on hips and flex chest muscles to check for any dimpling, puckering changes on either side. 

Lying Down:
Grab a pillow and place it under your right shoulder, then put your right arm behind head. Use left hand to tap around your right breast in small circular motions from outside to center, including armpit. Squeeze nipple and check for discharge and lumps. Repeat on other side. 

If you feel anything out of the ordinary, first take a deep breath and alert your healthcare provider. 

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