Breast-Exam Basics

Posted on 3/11/2010 | Comments ()
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Are you doing your breast self-exam correctly? A thorough breast self-exam should be done once a month; spend 8 minutes on each breast. Find out what to look for and how to do it right with this step-by-step lesson from Dr. Oz.


  • Step 1: Examine breasts in mirror for visual changes in the size and color of the breasts, particularly in the nipple area and the skin.
  • Step 2: Lay down with one hand above your head. With the other hand, start the exam all the way up by the collarbone and work your way over to the armpit. Move toward the nipple in an outward concentric pattern, using the pads of your 3 middle fingers. Repeat on the other breast.
  • Step 3: Lumps won't feel perfectly round or smooth. They will feel irregular, hard and not moveable. Note any lumps and talk to your doctor.
  • Step 4: Gently, with your thumb and forefinger, check for nipple discharge by applying pressure at the 9-3 and 12-6 clock positions.