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Can I Self-Examine My Breast for Lumps?

How to perform self-examination on breasts.

Yes, you can. We recommend women to know how to perform breast self-examination and contact a doctor regarding any abnormalities. You should also know the benefits and limitations of breast cancer screening methods.

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends the following breast self-examination methods: 

  • Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit.
  • You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.

It is important to understand that every person’s breasts are different, and they can feel differently at certain times of the month. For example, breasts can become more tender and lumpy right before the start of menstruation.

Here are the steps the NHS recommends everyone should take to become more breast-aware: 

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Look at your breasts and feel them
  • Know what changes to look for
  • Report any changes without delay
  • Attend routine screening if you’re 50 or over

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.

Ensuring women receive essential health services