How to examine my breast?


I am in my teens and have read that the best way to prevent breast cancer is to examine your breasts regularly for lumps. Please let me know how to do this.

Ngozi (via text)

Breast lumps are most common in young women, usually within 20 years of puberty. The typical breast lump is a round firm, discrete, relatively movable, non-tender mass. The nodule is usually discovered accidentally. Although many breast lumps are harmless, it is very important that each breast lump is removed and sent for pathological examination to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.

Since many cases of breast lumps are discovered accidentally, it is important that people are taught how to examine their breasts. First observe your breasts while sitting with arms on either side and overhead, especially for the presence of skin and nipple abnormalities. These abnormalities can be made more apparent by raising your arms above your head or by pressing your hands on your hip. With the help of the fingers, the chest should be palpated mainly lying on the back with a pillow at the back.

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The examination must be meticulous, methodical and gentle. Abnormal variations in breast size and contour, minimal nipple retraction, redness or retraction of the skin are best identified by careful observation in good light. In some cases (5-10%) of breast cancers are detected during physical examination for other purposes.

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