A How-To Guide to Breast Self Examination

Breast self examination, also known as BSE, has been shown in studies to be one of the most effective ways of detecting breast cancer at an early stage. It can be one of the best barriers against the deadly breast cancer if done appropriately.

Learning how to perform breast self examinations can help you catch cancer early, while it’s still treatable, and when it’s easier to kill off the cancer cells in their earliest stages. Unfortunately, many women (and men) don’t know how to properly perform breast self-exams, and this leads to them skipping these important procedures and missing out on vital information about the state of their health. 

In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about breast self-examinations, how to do it correctly, and its merits. Whether you already have your own method or are wondering why you should start BSE, this article will help you decide whether or not breast self-examination makes sense for your own unique lifestyle and situation and most importantly how to do it correctly.

Steps to Breast self examination.

Step 1 – Know your breast tissues

breast self examination
breast self examination

Knowing your breast tissues is the best way to do a breast examination. You want to make sure that you are examining the correct area and know what it feels like. Your breasts contain two main types of tissue, glandular and connective tissue. Glandular tissue is the type that makes up most of your breasts.

It can feel rubbery or hard and lumpy when touched. Connective tissue is found mostly in the breast’s outer layer and can be softer than the other type of breast tissue. It may also feel less dense when touched. 

Step 2 – Find a private place

breast self examination
Somewhere private

The last thing you want to happen during your breast examination is for someone else to walk in on you! Make sure there are no children around (you might consider finding somewhere more private) before doing any examinations.

Step 3 – Wash your hands

breast self examination
Wash your hands

I’ve learned that having clean hands is essential for any medical examination, but it’s also important in general.

For self breast examinations, washing your hands is an important step that can easily be overlooked if you’re in a rush or stressed out about what you might find when you do the exam. If you feel like there’s no time to wash up beforehand, don’t worry. As long as you make sure to scrub up thoroughly before and after the examination, your hands should still be clean enough. In most cases, this means just ensuring to wash with soap under water for at least thirty seconds before touching your breasts and again afterwards.

Step 4 – Perform self-examination every month.

breast self examination

Doing monthly breast self-examinations can help find lumps or changes in your breast tissue early on, which may help to save your life. To do it, make sure you have time and privacy and try to do it at the same time each month.

How to carry out the breast self-examination.

  • Start by looking for any strange or fresh lumps, bumps, or changes in textures, as well as anything else that looks out of the ordinary to you or any symptoms that weren’t present during your prior self-breast assessment.
  • The collarbone, armpit, and entire breast should all be examined.
  • Look and feel carefully for any changes or anomalies.
  • Make sure there are no swelling, dimpling, or puckers. If you are unable to handle it, get professional medical assistance.

Step 5 – Identify problem areas.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that there are a few restrictions on breast self-examination. For example, if you have an autoimmune disease that affects your immune system, you could have false positives. Additionally, if you’ve had breast implants or reconstruction surgery, you may not be able to feel lumpy masses in your breasts. Finally, if you’re pregnant and experiencing any kind of hormonal changes, it can affect your breast tissue and make it more difficult to identify lumps or other abnormalities.

Step 6 – Recheck your results regularly

The most important part of breast self examination is to check regularly. You should be checking your breasts on a monthly basis, or as often as you can remember. If you do breast self examination regularly and catch any changes early, they may be easier to treat.


Breast self examination is a very important activity in a woman’s life just like the other cancer screening methods including that of the cervix. If you do not know how to perform this breast examination, consult your doctor. Were you already aware of how to properly perform a breast examination?


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