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Breast Self-Examination (BSE)

Breast self-examination (BSE) is an attempt to detect the early stages of breast cancer. In this method the women can herself physically examine both breasts for probable lump, deformation or enlargement. For BSE, first you should learn the normal condition of the breast. Normally the breasts may be a bit lumpy. So you should carefully analyze for any new place in their breast that feels harder than rest of your breast.
Methods of BSE:
1) Use a mirror
 i) Arms down
1) Stand in front of a mirror
2) Put down your arms by your side
3) Examine your breast by slowly turning from side to side for any changes in size and shape from the last time you looked
4) Check for any discharge from the nipples
5) Look for any inflammation in the skin.

ii) Arms Up
a) Face the mirror and lift your arms above the head
b) Position your hands at the back of your ears
c) Check under arms and breasts
d) Lower the hands to your nose
e) Grasp your palms together
f) Look for any changes from the previous check

2) Keep standing:
In this method the following steps are to be completed for both breasts
a) Opposite hands are to be used for each breast
b) Begin just under the collarbone
c) Cover all of your breast including nipples
d) The fingers of the hands are to be held together
e) Fingers to be stiff with flat hand
f) Pads of the fingers are to be used for this method
g) Then bend the wrist to go above the curves of your breast
h) With constant contact and pressure on the skin create small circles covering the whole breast using either grid method or circular method.
i) Grid Method
1) Make small circles in straight lines starting just under your collarbone
2) Slowly continue all the way across your breast
3) Then shift the fingers down and repeat the small circles backward and forward across the breast
4) Likewise many circles are needed to check the entire breast
5) Check the nipples by stiffly holding the fingers and bend the wrist to go below the arms
6) Complete theses steps for both your breasts
ii) Circular Method
a) Create small circles right from the outside edge of your breast
b) Slowly continue it all the way around your breast
c) Then move your fingers towards the nipple
d) Again go around the breast with smaller circles
e) Keep moving in towards your nipple
f) Here also many circles are needed to cover the whole breast
g) Check the nipples also as explained in the grid method
h) Do all the steps for both your breasts
i) Then examine the under arm up to collarbone
j) Place the arm under the hand and slide it
k) Make small circles like you did for the breast.

3) Lie down:
1) Lie on your back on a rigid surface
2) Position one hand at the back of  the head and hold the fingers of your other hand together
3) Check both breasts again using pads of the fingers and by bending your wrist to cover the curves of your breast.

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