Woman, Breast Self Examination

How should the breast self-examination be performed?

Regular self-examination

Gentle, safe and low risk: With digital mammography, a new era has begun in the diagnosis of breast cancer. You should however monitor for changes in your breasts during the period between the regular mammography examinations.
 
In addition to regular mammography, you should self-examine your breasts monthly. The self-examination is also recommended for younger women.
 
You should always examine your breasts at the same time within the monthly cycle. As you certainly have observed, the breasts feel different during the various stages of the monthly cycle.
 
The best time for this is just after menstruation. At that time, the breast tissue is usually soft and can be examined well. If you do not have periods anymore, you should choose an arbitrary, but fixed, monthly day for the investigation.

What changes should be noted?

Apart from the normal breast changes during the menstrual cycle, which is controlled by hormones, additional changes may be present that can indicate a disease. You should pay particular attention to the following changes:

  • Inflammation
  • Fluid leaking from the nipple
  • Bulging and retractions
  • Noticeable nodes or lumps in breast tissue

Even if such changes often turn out to be harmless, you should definitely still consult your gynaecologist for clarification. You can also come directly to us and, just to be safe, have a low-dose mammography performed.

How to examine your breasts

Stand in front of a mirror and look at both breasts from the front and from the side. Let your arms initially hang on both sides, then lift both arms above the head.

Can you see reddened skin spots or other changes in the skin? Pay particular attention to the area around the nipples, and look for new wrinkles or the like. Are there any other areas on the chest showing retractions, or dimpling of the skin, or small bumps?
 
Now examine, while continuing to stand, first with the right hand the left breast, and then with the left hand, the right breast. Position the fingers together and flat, and the hand flat. With the hand in this position, now feel the breast with your closed fingers using a clockwise motion. Can you feel any lumps, nodules, or particularly sensitive areas? Then stroke each armpit: Do you notice lymph nodes that were previously not noticeable, or have increased in size?
 
Finally, take the nipple gently between your fingers and lightly squeeze. Can you see the nipple discharging any liquid?
 
Lie down on your back now. Repeat the feeling and stroking of the breasts and armpits, both with your arm on the side of the body, and with your arm stretched overhead. While lying down, you can scan the area below the nipples especially well. The armpits can also be examined well in this position.

The examination is offered here

Breast-cancer screening is offered at the following locations of radiologicum munich: