Being that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that there are a whole lot of breasts in this office (and in the world), we collaborated with artist Angela Mckay to run through a basic 4-step guide on how to check your breasts as recommended by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
It’s advocated that adult women of any age perform a self-examination at the same time at least once a month – the week following your period is suggested as the best time. So get checking!
Step 1: Full On
Stand in front of your mirror with your back straight, shoulders square, arms at your side. Now, check your tits out.
Here’s what you’re looking for:
- anything unusual in size, shape or colour from how your breasts typically look (remember, your boobs are sisters, not identical twins, and no two are exactly alike)
- check for any puckering, bulging or dimpling of the skin
- do you spot any redness, soreness, or swelling?
- have your nipples changed position or become inverted?
Step 2: And Your Hands Go Up
Stretch your hands into the air, well above your head. This will allow your breasts to slightly change position, and will give you a different view of ’em. Look for:
- all the above listed in Step 1
- any abnormal tugging at the skin around your nipples or muscles
Step 3: Lay Back and Touch Yourself
Lie on your back and lift one arm above your head. Lying down helps to flatten and thin out your breast tissue, and allows for easier examination. With your other hand, use the flat pads of your fingers to gently press your breast tissue between your skin and your ribs. Move your fingers in a circular motion about the size of a quarter, and make sure to do this covering the whole circumference of your breast up to your collarbone, down to your sternum and laterally up into your armpit. Look for:
- hard lumps with the consistency of a frozen pea or bean
Note: Thicker areas and some lumps are common in breasts. Get to know your own so you know what’s normal for you.
Step 4: One Arm Up
Stand up and raise one arm over your head. With your other hand, use the flat pads of your fingers to gently press your breast tissue between your skin and your ribs, just like you did before. As with Step 3, use the same circular motion to cover the areas previously mentioned.
- all the above changes listed in Step 3
Breastfriends don’t let other breastfriends go without a self-exam. Tell your gal pals, and share our simple ‘how to guide’ with the women in your life.