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What to check for

The first thing you need to know is that there's no right way or wrong way to check your breasts. You don't need special tools or techniques; it doesn’t need to be done at a specific time of the month, either. You can do it anytime, anywhere you like.

  • Start with a visual check in the bathroom mirror every day.
  • The shower is a great place, too, where you can use soapy hands to easily feel for changes.
  • Feel both breasts and continue all the way up to your collarbone, under your breasts and into your armpits as well.
  • For instance, start with checking them in the bathroom mirror every day... or the shower is a great place, too, where you can use soapy hands to easily feel for changes. Feel all the way up from your breasts to your collarbone, and your armpits as well.

    It's as easy as knowing what's normal for you and reporting any unusual changes to a doctor. Your breasts naturally change during your monthly cycle, so check often to make sure you know what changes are normal or unusual for you.

     

    What to check for

  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • A change in the skin texture like puckering or dimpling
  • A change to your nipple like a rash, crusting, or inversion
  • A change in the direction of the nipple
  • Discharge from the nipple that starts suddenly
  • Redness, swelling or breasts that are warm to the touch
  • A new lump, hard knot or thickening of the breast
  • An unusual pain that doesn't go away
  • If you've noticed any of these changes to one or both of your breasts, talk to your doctor or a health care provider right away. Thankfully, most people will find these changes to be benign (not cancer), but it's best to know for sure—especially since early detection is so important in the treatment of breast cancer.

    © Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region