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The Importance of Breast Self-ExamsFor early detection of breast cancer, it's important to regularly check how your breasts feel and look. Women are often the ones who discover problems first during a breast self-exam, and the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better.

Beginning at age 18, all women should perform a monthly breast self-exam to look for lumps or any other changes. This is in addition to having mammograms and annual checkups. 

There are several ways you can perform a breast self-exam. You can do it in front of a mirror, in the shower or while lying down.

Examine your breasts first with light pressure to feel the tissue closest to your skin. Then use medium pressure to feel a little deeper, and then feel deep into the breast tissue closer to your chest wall. Look for changes like:

  • Thickening or hard knots inside your breast or under your arm
  • Redness, darkening, swelling, or warmth of your breast
  • Changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • Puckering or dimpling of your breast’s skin
  • Discharge from your nipple

You should perform a monthly breast self-exam about a week after your period ends. If you no longer menstruate, pick a specific day, like the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Consult with your doctor about when to perform a monthly breast self-exam if you take hormones.

Most breast lumps are benign and finding one doesn’t mean you have breast cancer, but make an appointment to see your doctor if your breast self-exam reveals something abnormal.

If you’re in the Brownstown or Southgate area and in need of complete women’s healthcare services, Northline Women’s Health Center is here to help. You can request an appointment online to see one of our providers.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax