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Breast Self Exam(BSE)

  • BSE is a way women can check their own breasts for any changes that could be symptomatic of Breast Cancer.
  • This process includes Inspection(looking) & Palpation(feeling) of each breast & reporting anything unusual to the Doctor
 Why is it needed?
  • When breast cancer is detected in the early stages, chances of surviving the disease are gently improved
  • In fact, women who perform regular BSE find 90% of all breast masses

Who should perform this test?

  •  All the women beginning @20yrsof age/ after the onset of menarche including pregnant females, breastfeeding mothers, menopausal women

When should u perform this test?

  • BSE should be regularly performed every month after 5-10 days of your period
  • If your periods are not regular or if you have attained menopause, BSE should be done on a fixed date every month

Things to keep in mind before BSE

  • Take time. Do not rush. It may take several minutes to carefully examine
  • Follow the right technique to ensure proper examination
  • Do not panic. Fear& anxiety about what may be found during the exam leads to false-positive findings

A Step-By-Step Guide to BSE

Before beginning a monthly BSE, stand undressed from the waist up in front of a large mirror in a well-lit room ideally in daylight
Step-1: (a)Begin by looking at breasts in the mirror with shoulders straight and arms on the hips
(b) Now place the hand at the back of the head and inspect your breasts
What should u look for?
  1. Changes in size, shape, position, skin of breasts
  2. Check for any puckering, dimpling, rashes, discoloration
  3. Look for any sores, peeling, discharge, or changes in the direction of the nipples
Step-2: Place hands on hips & press them down firmly to tighten the chest muscles beneath the breast then bend forward towards the mirror. Roll shoulders & elbows forwards to tighten the chest muscles. Breasts will fall forward. Now look for any changes in the shape/contour of breasts
Step-3: Palpation of breast
   (a)  Palpate (touch) the breast tissue with pads (not tips) of three middle fingers & feel for any lumps or soreness
   (b) Follow any one of the below three patterns to ensure complete coverage of the breast
Step-4: Palpation of Nipple
   Place thumb & forefinger on the tissue surrounding the nipple & rotate your nipple in forward-backward motions & look for any discharge. Repeat the same on another breast
Step-5: Palpation of the breast in lying down position
• Lie down & place a small pillow or folded towel under the left shoulder
• Put left hand under your head
• Place right hand on the upper portion of the left breast with fingers together
• Do the circular motions and cover the entire breast
• Make sure to feel the upper outer area that extends into the armpits
Cheers, you have now successfully completed your BSE!!
What needs to be done next? 
After examination, if you find any abnormal changes, seek the help of a doctor to ensure proper health care advice. Because
♦️Early detection is the Best protection♦️
The information used in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All the content, text, images are for general information purposes only.
-Dr. B.Gouthami






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