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WOMEN'S HEALTH: How to perform breast self-examination

This self-examination is very important. Perform the following steps once a month, right after your period is over. If you notice any changes or abnormalities, NO MATTER HOW INSIGNIFICANT THEY MAY SEEM AT THE TIME, SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.

1. Standing in front of a mirror, check for nipple discharge or bumps, puckers and/or abnormalities in the shape of your breasts. Do this with your arms at your sides, then on your hips, then behind your head.

2. Lift your left arm up and behind your head. Hold your fingers flat and pressed together, then place your right hand on your left breast and vice-versa to examine your right breast. Make tiny concentric circles, covering about an inch of the breast area at a time, then move around the breast clockwise until you've spiraled to the nipple. Also check the areas below your armpits as these areas also contain breast tissue. This procedure can also be done in the shower.

3. You should also examine your breasts lying down. Put a pillow under the shoulder corresponding to the breast you are examining and put that hand behind your head.