Hi, I'm Emma and I'm the Clinical Nurse Consultant here at Results with Lucy and today I am here to talk to you about the importance of Self Check Breast exam.
So we know that we are meant to check our own breasts, it gets told to us all the time but, actually, how often do we get told how to do it? So here today we're going to have a very practical look at how you can check your own breasts and when you should be checking them.
Now, when you are checking your breasts, don't panic. 8 out of 10 lumps tends to be of no cause for concern. However it is really important that you understand how your breasts change over the course of a month.
So in terms of when is the optimum time to check your breasts... not on your period, because they're sensitive so normally the week just after your period is a really great time to check however I regularly say to women "Dya know what? It doesn't hurt to regularly keep an eye on what your breast tissue looks like and is made up of".
For the purpose of today, I am doing the demonstration in a sports bra however ladies, you do need to be bare from the chest up, it makes it a lot easier to check your breasts this way!
If you have a bigger breasts then you may find this easier to do lying down or more comfortable in the shower because your skin is slick so it'll be easier to move your hand around.
How to Check Your Breasts
Step 1: Lift your arm up, over your head to expose the whole region
Step 2: Taking 2 or 3 fingers (use the tip of the fingers) to look around for any lumps. Moving your fingers in small circular motion, starting down at the rib line making sure that you cover the whole area before working your way up into the breast tissue.
Step 3: Using small circular motion to feel for any changes in the way your breast tissue is formed. We are looking for any lumps, bumps or movement. Go all the way up into the armpit - it's really important that you remember to go up into the armpit for the check as well and that you go across the whole of the breast tissue.
If you do find any bumps under your fingers, they are normally quite noticeable - they feel slightly different to the rest of your breast tissue. Depending on the time of month that you do for your check - it could be that it is simply a change in hormones. So it's important that you know how your breasts change over the course of the month.
Step 4: Look for any change in your nipples and know how they change over the course of the month, whether that be leakage from your nipples, if they are becoming inverted in any way and whether or not the actual skin tissue of your breast looks any different - whether there's any dimpling or darkening of any areas.
Once you've done one side, you would then do the next side and then repeat a couple of times over the month.
It's really important that you are checking at least once over the course of the month. If you do find anything that is cause for concern, make an appointment with your GP, get them to have a look. It is better to go and have that conversation and know what is right for your breasts