Beginning in their 20s, women should be told about the benefits and
limitations of breast self-exam (BSE). Women should be aware of how their
breasts normally look and feel and report any new breast change to a
health professional as soon as they are found. Finding a breast change
does not mean there is a cancer.
Women can notice changes by being aware of how their breasts normally
look and feel and by feeling their breasts for changes (breast awareness)
or by choosing to use a step-by-step approach and using a specific
schedule to examine her breasts.
Again, women with breast implants can do BSE. It may be helpful to have
the surgeon help identify the edges of the implant so that you know what
you are feeling. There is some thought that the implants push out the
breast tissue and actually make it easier to examine.
If you choose to do BSE, the following information provides a
step-by-step approach for the exam. The best time for a woman to examine
her breasts is when the breasts are not tender or swollen. Women who are
pregnant, breast-feeding, or have breast implants can also choose to
examine their breasts regularly. Women who examine their breasts should
have their technique reviewed during their periodic health exams by their
health care professional. It is acceptable for women to choose not to do
BSE or to do BSE occasionally.
Women who choose not to do BSE should still be aware of their breasts
and report any changes without delay to their doctor.
How to Examine Your Breasts
This procedure for doing breast self-exam is different than previous
procedure recommendations. These changes represent an extensive review of
the medical literature and input from an expert advisory group. There is
evidence that the woman's position (lying down), area felt, pattern of
coverage of the breast, and use of different amounts of pressure increase
the sensitivity of BSE as measured with silicone models. Lying down also
made it easier to feel lumps while doing CBE using patient models with
known small non-cancerous lumps in their breasts.
Source : http://www.cancer.org