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Check Yourself Out: How To Perform A Breast Self- Examination

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Singapore, accounting for 29.4% of all female cancers. According to the Singapore Cancer Registry, there were 1,850 new cases of breast cancer in Singapore in 2017, and 404 deaths from breast cancer in the same year.

While breast cancer affects women of all ages, the risk increases with age. In Singapore, the highest incidence of breast cancer is in women aged 50 to 64 years. However, younger women are not immune to breast cancer, with about 22% of breast cancer cases occurring in women under the age of 45.

Early detection of breast cancer is crucial for effective treatment, and one way to detect breast cancer early is by performing regular breast self-examinations.

In this article, we will guide you through the steps of performing a breast self-examination.

Step 1: Start by looking at your breasts in the mirror

Stand in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Look at your breasts in the mirror, and take note of their size, shape, and color. Check for any changes in the contour, such as dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin. Also, check for any changes in the nipples, such as a rash or discharge.

Step 2: Raise your arms and examine your breasts

Next, raise your arms above your head and examine your breasts again. Look for any changes in the contour of your breasts or nipples.

Step 3: Lie down and feel your breasts

Lie down on your back and place a pillow under your right shoulder. Using your left hand, feel your right breast, using small circular motions. Start from the outer edges and move toward the nipple. Make sure to cover the entire breast, from the collarbone to the top of the abdomen and from the armpit to the cleavage. Repeat this process with your left breast.

Step 4: Feel for lumps

When examining your breasts, feel for any lumps or thickening. Lumps may feel like a hard knot or a pea-sized mass. If you find a lump or a thickening, don’t panic. Many lumps are harmless, but it’s essential to have any changes checked by a doctor.

Step 5: Check your nipples

Check your nipples for any discharge or changes in shape. Gently squeeze each nipple to check for any discharge.

Step 6: Repeat regularly

It’s essential to perform breast self-examinations regularly, preferably once a month. This can help you become familiar with your breasts and detect any changes early on.

Here are some additional tips for performing a breast self-examination:

  • Use the pads of your fingers, not the tips, to feel your breasts.
  • Use varying levels of pressure, from light to firm.
  • Stand in front of a mirror while examining your breasts lying down to help detect any changes.
  • Don’t forget to check your armpits for lumps, as breast tissue extends into this area.

If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a lump or thickening, or any other unusual symptoms, see your doctor right away. Remember, early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer.

Reach Out To Us

Performing a breast self-examination is a simple but effective way to detect any changes in your breasts. It’s important to perform these examinations regularly and to seek medical attention if you notice any changes or abnormalities. With early detection and treatment, the chances of successfully treating breast cancer are much higher.


If you are looking to speak to a medical professional for some help, we’re here to support you. Drop us a line at 81883008 and we will help you make an appointment.

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