Dr Reshma Reddy

Self-Examination of Breasts

Catagory: Gyneacology  Author: Dr E Reshma Reddy

Breast health is a vital aspect of overall well-being, and regular self-examination is an empowering practice for women. Here is a comprehensive guide to self-examination of breasts. This exploration aims to empower women with the knowledge and skills to perform regular breast self-exams, fostering early detection and proactive health management.

Understanding Breast Anatomy:

  • Provide a detailed overview of the anatomy of the breasts, including the lobes, ducts, and lymph nodes.
  • Emphasize the normal variations in breast tissue and how it changes over the menstrual cycle.

Importance of Self-Examination:

  • Discuss the significance of regular self-examination in early detection of changes or abnormalities.
  • Address the complementary role of self-exams alongside clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Choosing the Right Time:

  • Discuss the optimal timing for breast self-examinations.
  • Explore how hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can influence breast tissue, and provide guidance on when to perform self-exams.

Step-by-Step Self-Examination:

  • Provide a step-by-step guide for breast self-examination.
  • Discuss the three main components: visual inspection, palpation in front of a mirror, and lying down palpation.

Visual Inspection:

  • Guide women through visual inspection of the breasts.
  • Discuss the importance of observing for changes in size, shape, or skin texture, as well as any visible abnormalities or asymmetry.

Palpation in Front of a Mirror:

  • Explain the technique of palpation in front of a mirror.
  • Emphasize the importance of using the pads of the fingers and circular motions to systematically examine each breast.

Lying Down Palpation:

  • Discuss the lying down palpation technique for a more thorough examination.
  • Guide women through the process of using three different levels of pressure to assess different depths of breast tissue.

Recognizing Normal Variations:

  • Address normal variations in breast tissue, such as lumps that may change with the menstrual cycle.
  • Provide guidance on differentiating between normal variations and potentially concerning changes.

Signs and Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Discuss signs and symptoms that may warrant further attention.
  • Emphasize the importance of consulting a healthcare professional if changes such as new lumps, skin changes, or nipple discharge are observed.

Breast Self-Exams for Different Age Groups:

  • Tailor advice for women in different age groups.
  • Discuss considerations for breast self-exams in younger women, women in their reproductive years, and postmenopausal women.

Regularity and Consistency:

  • Emphasize the importance of regularity and consistency in performing breast self-exams.
  • Discuss how establishing a routine increases familiarity with one’s breast tissue and facilitates early detection.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

  • Encourage women to seek professional guidance if they have concerns or if they are unsure about any findings during self-examination.
  • Discuss the role of healthcare professionals in providing guidance and conducting further assessments if needed.


Breast self-examination is a powerful tool for women to actively participate in their health and well-being. By understanding their own breast anatomy, following a systematic approach to self-exams, and staying vigilant for changes, women can contribute to early detection and proactive management of breast health. This comprehensive guide serves as a resource, empowering women to take charge of their breast health journey and fostering a sense of confidence and control over their overall well-being.