How do I perform a breast examination?

Everyone’s breasts are different, it is more important that you know what your normal breast look and feel like rather than the right way to examine them. If you spot any changes to your norm, report them to a doctor for assessment.

Every Woman is different

Every woman’s breasts can be different in terms of size, shape, and consistency. They can also feel different at different times of the month related to the menstrual cycle. Some women can have tender and lumpy breasts, especially near the armpits, around the time of their period.

With menopause, the breasts can feel softer, less firm, and not as lumpy.

Hints for checking your breasts

Some hints to check:

  • Look in the mirror and then lift your arms above your head and see if there is any pulling of the skin.
  • Check in the bath or shower with soapy hands, it’s easier to feel any lumps.
  • Run your hand over the breast starting at the armpit.
  • Working up towards the collarbone
  • Then towards the breastbone
  • Then work your way around to the bottom of the breasts.
  • Heading in towards the centre ensuring all areas have been felt.
  • Check the nipples, and look for any pulling in or discharge.

What to look for

What to look for:

  • a change in the size, or shape
  • a change in the skin on your breast (puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
  • a new lump, swelling, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit.
  • a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
  • change in nipple position, such as your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently.
  • any new discomfort or pain in one breast.


Breast lumps and changes can happen for many reasons, and most of them are not serious. Lots of women have breast lumps, and most breast lumps are not cancerous. It is always good to get a professional to check any new lumps or changes to make sure any serious problems can be acted upon early. 

Thanks for Reading!

If you enjoyed reading this article, please check out our other Blog

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