For a woman, it is very important to take care of her mental & physical health. So,
it becomes necessary to know about your physique and health-related issues linked to it. Breast Self-Examination (BSE) is one among the healthy techniques to know and diagnose breast-related issues, and ignorance could lead to Breast Cancer which is fatal in nature.
BSE helps women to detect changes in their breast such as palpable lumps, nipple discharge, bleeding, breast pain (rare in nature), discoloration etc. BSE is easy and would take only 15mins if done in routine once in every month. And, later in case of suspicion clinical methods like a mammogram, MRI, and ultrasound can be taken.
BSE can be done in a few simple steps
1. Strip-till waist and place your hands on your hips
The very first thing you need to do after finding some privacy is strip down till your waist while putting your hands on your hips in the front of the mirror. Observe the contour, shape, texture, and size of your breast, nipples and areolas. Look for any unusual change.
2. Pull your arms over your head
Next, you need to raise your arms over your head and see if your breasts move in the same way while you raise them. Observe the size, shape, symmetry, and drape. Moreover, notice any difference such as swelling in your armpit areas.
3. Observe your nipples with fingers
Now comes the nipples, lower you both arms and with your fingers check for any dimple, bump, or unusual discharge etc. Gently pull your nipples and see if there is any discharge such as green, yellow, white, or bloody red. Red and clear discharge calls for an immediate doctor’s visit while rest other colours indicate an infection or blocked milk ducts.
4. Stroke your breast while standing
You can use the stroke method in shower easily, as your wet skin has the least resistance to fingers and you can apply pressure to your armpit area and breasts. Start from stroking top to bottom or in a circular motion covering the entire breast area and observe the size, texture, and colour of the breast.
5. Recline and Stroke your breast
Lie down comfortably on a bed and put your arm behind your head while shoulders resting on a pillow. Stroke your breast and armpits and check the texture and size of your breasts long with any visible changes in them.
General Tips for BSE
- Mark and update your calendar to remind yourself of BSE. This will help you to analyze and determine body changes while menstrual cycle.
- Stay calm, relaxed and breathe normal as you do your BSE.
- Do not panic if you find anything unusual or lump in your breast.
- Consult or report your doctor, nurse practitioner if you have noticed some lump or unusual pain.
- BSE is just a precaution; you need to have an annual clinical diagnosis such as a mammogram or MRI etc. after consulting your doctor.