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What is Breast Self Examination?

Key points

Some women give themselves a breast self-examination (BSE) once a month, just after their period. If you're no longer menstruating, choose a day you'll remember each month.

Step 1 - Look

Undress from the waist up and stand in front of the mirror. Look with your arms by your side, then on your hips with tightened chest muscles, and above your head. Once you get used to seeing what your breasts usually look like, changes will be more noticeable.

Step 2 - Touch

This can be done in the shower, standing or lying down with a pillow under the shoulder. In either position, raise your arm over your head and use the flat part of your fingers to feel each part of your breast (fingertips are less sensitive). Move the skin over the underlying tissue in a gentle rotating movement.

  • Cover the entire breast area in a circular movement, finishing at your nipple.
  • Check from the collar bone.
  • Check into your armpit.
  • Check both breasts.
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