Self Exams

Some research suggests that many women do BSE more thoroughly when they use a pattern of up-and-down lines or strips. Other women feel more comfortable with another pattern.

The important thing is to cover the whole breast and pay special attention to the area between the breast and the underarm, including the underarm itself.

Check the area above the breast, up to the collarbone, and all the way over to your shoulder. Consider using one of these patterns:

    • Lines. Start in the underarm area and move your fingers downward
      little by little until they are below the breast. Then move your fingers
      slightly toward the middle and slowly move back up. Go up and down until you
      cover the whole area.
    • Circles. Beginning at the outer edge of your breast, move your fingers
      slowly around the whole breast in a circle. Move around the breast in smaller
      and smaller circles, gradually working toward the nipple. Don’t forget to check
      the underarm and upper chest areas, too.
    • Wedges. Starting at the outer edge of the breast, move your fingers
      toward the nipple and back to the edge. Check your whole breast, covering one
      small wedge-shaped section at a time. Be sure to check the underarm area and the
      upper chest.

How to do BSE


1. Stand in front of a mirror that is large enough for you to see your
breasts clearly. Check each breast for anything unusual. Check the skin for
puckering, dimpling, or scaliness. Look for a discharge from the nipples.

Watching closely in the mirror

2. Watching closely in the mirror, clasp your hands behind your head and
press your hands forward.

Press your hands firmly on your hips

4. Gently squeeze each nipple and look for a discharge.

Press your hands firmly on your hips

3. Next, press your hands firmly on your hips and bend slightly toward the
mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward.

Do steps 2 and 3 to check for any change in the shape or contour of your breasts. As you do these steps, you should feel your chest muscles tighten.

Use the pads of the fingers of your other hand

6. Use the pads of the fingers of your other hand to check the breast and the surrounding area firmly, carefully, and thoroughly. Some women like to use lotion or powder to help their fingers glide easily over the skin. Feel for any
unusual lump or mass under the skin. Feel the tissue by pressing your fingers in  small, overlapping areas about the size of a dime. To be sure you cover the whole breast, take your time and follow a definite pattern: lines, circles, or

The breasts are best examined while lying down

5. The breasts are best examined while lying down because it spreads the breast tissue evenly over the chest. Lie flat on your back, with one arm over
your head and a pillow or folded towel under the shoulder. This position flattens the breast and makes it easier to check.


Ways we are impacting the community

Our latest Gift of Wellness certificates was given to: Ca-Trina Scott -- A long time volunteer for MDAS. We pray all will go well for Ca-Trina!
Shemeka Fields -- is our second recipient. Wishing the best results for you as well Shemeka!

Ca-Trina Scott / Shemeka Fields

Our first Gift Of Wellness for 2015 was presented to Franchele S.
We are grateful to report that NO cancer was found! We want to thank Franchele for allowing us to be a part of her health and wellness experience

Franchele S.

Today, I ran into a former high school classmate. She was diagnosed May 31, 2014. She is undergoing her chemo sessions and looking forward to reconstruction. Please keep her and all that are on a breast cancer journey in your prayers.

Another Survivor